Living Here Now

My father’s dying
resembles nothing so much
as a small village
building itself
in the mind of a traveler
who reads about it
and thinks to go there.

The journey is imagined
in a way not even felt
as when years ago
I knew my father would die someday.

The idea came up as fast
as a curve in a road
which opens out
to an unexpected vista,

and now in this journey
the road gravel crunches
under my tires. I miss
some of the streets,
get lost, get lost.

I find I’m no tourist anymore
and settle into the oldest human assignment.
Bury your father and live forever
as a stranger in that town.

Eloise Klein Healy, “Living Here Now” from Passing. Copyright © 2002 by Eloise Klein Healy. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.
Source: Passing (Red Hen Press, 2002)
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