until the last goodbye

 


until the last goodbye

 

i remember the first time my father had to use a wheelchair. 

the look of defeat, absolute. 

he took pride w/ his independence, to do things for himself. 

 

for a few months, maybe a year, he hustled around his house 

in that wheelchair. 

scarring walls and door jambs. 

 

when movement became more difficult, 

more of a challenge, 

we knew the end drew near. 

 

w/o independence, 

however small or fleeting, 

the soul gives up. 

my father gave up. 

 

while he never said it outright, 

at least not in front of mother or my sister, 

i knew. 

 

when he got cancer the third time, 

and the last results were not so great, 

we all knew. 

 

when he went into hospice, 

when COVID hit, 

even he knew. 

 

on his last day he woke up, had a small breakfast, 

flirted with a nurse and went back for a final nap. 

a silence fell into my world 

as if there was nothing left to hear, 

 

no dirty jokes left to share. 

 

  

Jack Henry

  

jack henry is a writer based in the deserts of SE California.  Recent success includes: Ariel Chart, Pure Slush, Raven Cage, Better than Starbuck's and elsewhere. in 2021 PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS released, driving w/crazy, available now at smile.amazon.com.

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