I used to hate those wet kisses.
I really hated those wet kisses.
As I wiped my cheek they would leave a streak.
But now I treasure those kisses because I know there will be a day when I don’t get.
I sit in the rocking chair.
I sit in the wooden rocking chair with the blue cushion.
I choose this seat because here I can glean,
I can glean unseen
Every little thing
From the sheen on his forehead
To the rings her rib bones make in her skin
I cannot unsee
I cannot unsee the way he hobbled down the hallway.
I cannot unhear the way the wheels on his walker whispered to me.
I cannot unsmell the lingering scent of hospital sheets on his skin.
I cannot unfeel the way he hugged me because,
He did not –
He didn’t Hug me.
Why did he not Hug me?
Oh! That’s right.
Because he was too weak to get up from his chair,
Too sick to come into contact with me.
He could not – Hug me.
This man’s man who cooked me sourdough pancakes,
Who built me a red rocking horse,
Who spent hours cracking walnuts with me.
When was the last time he didn’t hug me?
There wasn’t a last time…this was the First time.
He could not
He did not
This was the first time I had to help him use the bathroom.
The first time he kept referring to me as my sister’s name
Not my Own name.
This was the first time I Became – Aware.
Of what I had not seen.
Of what I had not gleaned.
From my seat in the wooden rocking chair.