I wasn’t prepared for the body

the stillness of it, a life muted,

how the gray sets in

how small a man can be.

The stillness of him, a life muted

in a hospital room, thin blankets

against his rails of bone

how the gray sets in,

the breath still in him,

I learned

how small a father can be

when I’m too afraid

to touch him.

to touch him

when I’m too afraid,

how hollow a father can be

I learned

to still breathe,

as the gray sets in

rails of bone, against

thin blankets, and his hospital room

in stillness, a life muted,

how gone a father can be

when the gray begins

stillness, our lives muted.

I wasn’t prepared for my father’s body.

Lisa Rua-Ware

Lisa Rua-Ware is a poet in central Massachusetts. Her work has appeared in San Pedro River Review, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Lily Poetry Review. When she’s not chasing her two rambunctious kids, she works as a technical writer, loves drawing, journaling, list making, and all things paper crafts.

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