Sunday, May 29, 2022

Poem: The Andromeda Strain

It’s springtime,

and I am my widowed mother’s caretaker.

 

In my boyhood home, during a rainstorm on a Saturday afternoon,

I watch a movie Dad used to love.

 

The plot unfolds slowly, without special effects,

like my father's life.


These days, I can’t concentrate on any one thing,

so I search online to read about the lives of the actors.

 

As the wise-cracking female lead lights another cigarette,

I learn she died of cancer nearly 30 years ago in Ontario at age 62.


The cerebral male lead was 84, living in a nursing home in California,

when he died more than 15 years ago of complications from Alzheimer's.

 

That was a year after the director died,

two years before the writer died.

 

A third actor is the "odd man," the dispassionate unmarried male

who can carry out orders about thermonuclear destruction.

 

He too died at his home in California, just weeks ago, at age 91.

He never married in real life, either.

 

In real life, I realize this storm will pass before the ambiguous ending,

so I gather my tools.

 

Soon I will kneel before my father in the sun.

I will tend his garden until the day I die.


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