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my father's blood

by ralph david samuel

I know I’m not him.
But since he died, I rue
my transformation. At times
I feel his temper growing short
as memory slips away until,
unable to navigate the electric cart,
he forgets which door is his,
keeps rolling past in silent circles.

I will have the tumor too, my doctor says.
Still, it’s not too late for treatment. Even
cut the virile organ out before it worms
its bloody sprout into the bladder’s wall.

Towards the end he doesn’t see he pissed
his pants, dried rust with blood, until
I show him. Then he shrugs and spreads
his fingers out, palms up; his lips
form silent words:
What’s to do?

In that sign, I'd seen his father give,
and now I know is mine, I see
our dormant shtetl seed revealed.
I shrug and feel the words.


(c) by Ralph David Samuel, 2002, all rights reserved.



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