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Flickering Through

 

Today
I embark
on a trip
I’ve already been
on
for almost two weeks
or has it been two decades.
When did it start, this story of aging, and
it’s consequences
when hadn’t it started?

My father is having trouble
with his health
with maintaining his health
with the upkeep
of the mortal animal.

he is in every other way
a whole man.

is it possible,
fair,
true,
to say that he is still a whole man
exactly as he is.
I think it is. yes.
I mean this not as opposed to
but as included in
he is
perfectly
the man he was
always going to be.
He is – wholly – himself.
Physical frailties,
mental acuities
and all.

So I’m going
to see
and hear
and touch
and smell
and to accompany
my father

in what might be (or not
the closing chapter
in the play
of
father’s life

I’m going to stand agains well wishers and well doers
against mine and even against his
lend my hand
to his will
for, and with, and against
his will
so long as he will indulge
me in my attempts
so long

I’m going
gladly
to have him hold
my hand
again
to learn by shape
and arc, manner and
by movement
what he has
to teach

today I fly
tomorrow I will walk.

I find it hard
to know

that if we clear the space about him
and allow him to proceed
as he was
it will shorten his life

that if we take charge
of his physical well
being
his body will linger
at the cost of his
sovereignty, dignity, wholeness
– that one cannot force the body
without doing harm
to the autonomy of the being
to which it is harnessed

that some third
intermediate approach
will certainly navigate both
these trenches
somewhat

and even so
no matter what, or how, or when
he will die.

I believe it is best if he were to arrive at the
point of departure
still a whole man
on a beaten horse

I guess I wish
to clear
the obstacles
in his path
if it is it
he chooses

still I
know
it is not for me to decide
but for me to learn
how men
unto their ends
proceed
so that
I may as
well.

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