Alan Walowitz (www.alanwalowitz.com) has been published various places on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College. His chapbook, Exactly Like Love, is in its second printing and is available from Osedax Press. His full-length book, The Story of the Milkman and other poems, was published in May 2018 by Truth Serum Press.
after Michael Minassian
The living room, dead middle of the night:
finally tired of pacing, my father
settles into the easy chair
to consider my own useless rambling.
Getting nowhere fast, sonny boy? he says.
True. Can’t sleep. Worried still about him
though he’s been gone some 30 years.
Maybe he’s dropped by to help me sleep,
to rub my back when I was little, crying in bed–
trying hard not to be heard, and, oh, to be heard.
Or perhaps he’s ready to tell
what’ll get me through what’s coming next,
what he might have called the dregs–
this last part he couldn’t much manage himself.
He has nothing to offer.
But let me assure you, Gentle Reader,
you have little to fear
when you hear a story such as this,
filled with apparitions and dulled feelings.
What a relief to spend time with the dead,
to have the chance to bring them up-to-date,
to let them know what’s new.
Though they don’t say much,
you can stay with them at least till dawn
and you’re ready to stagger
through another day,
half-dead to who you are,
but safe enough, knowing,
no matter how hard you wish,
you’re never completely alone in it.