Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Software

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dad, His Brief Case and Ralph, the Cat

He lived in a Samsonite hardside briefcase
cat & all...
In it were stacked,
notes from Stockholm,
lies from China,
sometimes cries,
and cigar smoke.

Tobacco dust, like his tears found the corners
when he couldn't wipe them off his spectacle rims.
Those were old too...but comfortable.

In that case,
arguments of what might have become of Cambodia,
in the sixties, but never transpired.
Further down,
underneath layers of thoughts and words,
what he had proclaimed to primary figures
that had made the wars go around
and stop...

In that case, the late letters to
heads of states,
pleas for peace
in a sinking world...

Then came the cat,
orange and staring,
the warm distraction
he'd craved all his life.

A deck of cards was the only game he controlled.
Everything else had collapsed into a soothing frangrance of tobacco dust.

It all ended in the briefcase,
the smaller, crystal bowl realm of guesses
he could see through bifocals.

And one day the lid fell shut...
And Ralph was gone...
took his life over a balcony rail.

No one could face how he died,
and then, it was Dad's turn.
He crawled into the other side briefly,
and decided he didn't want to return.

He left the Samsonite briefcase on the dining table...
On it, a picture of himself, hugging Ralph.

Note: Inspired by a photo of my father holding Ralph, our cat. His very familiar brief case on the dining table behind him. Dad died of a stroke in 1999. He went into a coma on February 18, 1999 and passed away on Sunday, February 28, 1999.