My father died when I was in my 20’s and he in his early 50’s. Way too young! So I have lived without him for a very long time. He comes to me occasionally in dreams, though, and I am always amazed how full of life he remains there on that alternate plane. Here is a poem I wrote a few years back about a dream encounter that woke me in the middle of the night and made me weep with longing.
Happy Father’s Day to all Dads everywhere. You are loved.
Shooting stars in the night, Daddy’s hands
burst through my dreams,
waking me up, igniting my girlhood.
I can smell his skin, though fresh from the netherworld,
still flesh and full of memory: Pall Malls, perspiration,
I can conjure his grin and that froggy voice calling me,
We used to meet more often. It’s been awhile.
As a rule there’s detachment in his face;
I’ll dream him at the mall, for instance,
in a brand new suit, in a brand new crowd,
everyone shiny, and he’ll pass by without seeing me.
I don’t take it personally. These are the veils,
He can cross over;
he just can’t quite reach me.
Tonight, though, his hands make it through,
freckled and rough and smelling like the man I knew.
The nails are buffed (he always tried so hard),
but there’s no mistaking their earthly stuff,
the masculine brand of my own,
piercing the veils, tapping me awake, then
dissolving into stardust.
I sniff my own palms for connection,
place them on my face,
and a canopy of mourning flutters down and around.
Suspended in time,
I float in a gossamer bubble of goodbye,
having outlived him by years now,
forever his little girl.
©2008 Angela Hite. All Rights Reserved.