r james sterzinger

(9-11-56 / midwest)

Alone as a Stone


my father visited me last night
we went for a drive

everything had changed
the streets were the same
barren, gravel, open.
new homes
no people
just the factories closed,
and the prevailing
emptiness as always.

eventually we turned east
the direction of the old home place
he cried as we slowed down
looked. went by. kept going.
it wasn't the same.

all the voices of spring
the running of the fields
the years of christmases
easters, first communions,
are ghosts now, will always be.

so is my father.
he touched me on the forehead
then i awoke alone in my bed
i am hundreds of miles from there now.

i am a million miles away from it all.
i too am a ghost and will always be.
my mind still haunts the passages
of my hometown. my home.

and as i write this i know
i am a rootless man
only a ghost, a specter
to the ones i know, a myth

my father is gone my mother before him
one before me miscarried and lost
though i live among the living
i am dead already so very dead

my life is a shadow,
no past no future just now
i am as empty as memory
as alone as a stone.

Father,
why must you seek the living
among the dead?

Submitted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Edited: Friday, May 08, 2009
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