I wrote about his death until he died.
Then I became my father. The shift
was gradual, the way a house might inch,
year by year, down an incline towards the street.
Bushes feel the nudge. Sidewalk cracks
could tell a tale, but who would listen?
Eventually the house will tumble
beam to basement. Unless contractors
come in to bolster floor joists, add girders.
When my mother visits for Christmas,
his name isn’t spoken. But in photographs,
I feel his eyes follow my movements.
My oldest son lumbers into the kitchen,
comes to lean against me. I pull away,
afraid of what is already happening.