NK My father’s cancer stole his energy
and tossed him to his chair more hours each day.
Soon treatments made his skin an ashen gray
and locked his life into a prison. Free?
No longer. He becomes an absentee
through February, March, then April, May.
Who is this crazy piper he must pay?
Much scatters into cancerous debris….
but he continues writing, though the key
turns tighter bit by bit. He knows he’s prey
to cells that force the door, their attaché
wide open. Lights blinked out on his marquee.
Then I, his daughter, legal designee,
flew to his home across the country: Pay
the bills, hold services, make plans to stay
awhile. Two houses now to sell. Deep sea
of grief welled up, surged high, and swallowed me.
The sun that had been setting set at noon,
and shock waves shivered down my spine. That June
a writer quieted. The tulip tree
he loved bows low. His pages, in precís,
named Poetry, Art, Music fade away.
I found, on his computer, signed N.K.,
unfinished poem there, his last decree.