I spent the winter my father died down in the basement,
under the calm surface of the floorboards, hundreds
of little plastic parts spread out like debris
on the table. And for months while the snow fell
and my father sat in the big chair by the Philco, dying,
I worked my way up deck by deck, story by story,
from steerage to first class, until at last it was done,
stacks, deck chairs, all the delicate rigging.
And there it loomed, a blazing city of the dead.
Then painted the gaping hole at the waterline
and placed my father at the railings, my mother
in a lifeboat pulling away from the wreckage.
Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Hedin from his most recent book of poems, The Light Under the Door, Red Dragonfly Press, 2013. Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Hedin and the publisher.