my father is dancing with death
Gabriel A. Levicky
MY FATHER IS DANCING WITH DEATH
His elephant ears moved.
His ash face, straight from a collection of death masks
Those behind dust covered windows.
His dentures, click, click run away,
Scaring very young nurses.
His legs, a pair of prehistoric bird wings
Ready to be folded
In case there is not enough room when under.
His watery eyes see a different future.
The one where he was a little boy, chasing dogs
In love with weeping willows.
His scary razor thin lips, once rich and juicy, gathering
His mouth, a cave full of
Hunting scenes, sacrifice-ready animals.
His hands, bloodlessly flipping
So fast we can’t see it.
The exit sign ahead begged us to leave.
My dropped jaws followed.
I turned around.
My father is dancing with Death.
His elephant ears like his clan banner,
Wave in this stiff-air room,
Creating a draft
That changes everything…
Humenne, Slovakia March ‘09