The Reverberation of Silence

It took death to understand you

You gave in to the cancer,
unwilling to fight
giving up like an unclenched fist

I realized that's what you wanted
all along; to escape, to get away
from an overbearing wife
a misunderstood life,
your own ghosts

I can remember you in dreams,
piecing you together like
a forgotten jigsaw puzzle--
that vacant look in your steel-blue eyes,
letting everyone know you were
in some far-away place
where you couldn't be reached
like maybe back in Korea;
that photo of you standing on the deck
of a ship, back when you had
life in your eyes, when 'family'
was only a word
but then my brother and I emerged,
needing a name,
our screams and tiny fists beating the air,
demanding recognition,
pummeling the past into a long-ago dream

I can understand now
that you never wanted any of that;
this unexpected extension of yourself,
two futures you could not understand,
responsibilities unplanned

It was never in you to physically run,
but you removed yourself the only
way you knew how, protecting yourself
with that invisible shield of wordlessness
I cut my teeth on

When I visited you in the hospital,
almost fearing what I would see,
your eyes briefly met mine
in slight recognition,
that emptiness now filled with relief
knowing your time had come,
your purpose fulfilled,
your glance edged with a slight grief
at the woman before you
whom you had brought into the world
full of questions and pain,
hating that silence of yours,
now finally connecting with you--
accepting your glance as acknowledgment;
forgiveness, an apology no longer needed

you'd suffered enough

I could only hope the morphine
helped pave the way for you,
allowing you a painless and silent exit;
a quiet, dignified way out
such as you had always wanted
but never quite knew how to reach

Skin Deep

It wasn't my choice at all.
It's not my fault your blood
runs through my veins--

how many times must you open yours
and stain the floor with your
emotional outbursts,
expecting me to keep paving the way,
picking you up and dusting you off?

I can't stop the blood,
but I can change its course:

it's just a simple matter of rerouting:
closing the door
letting go
washing my hands
of the whole deal

I'm 38, having written poetry for the past 17 years.
Currently back in the publishing world after having
taken a 2 year hiatus due to creative apathy and
temporary insanity--which, actually may have enhanced
my writing. It has certainly enhanced my weirdness.

I currently have a book available, "Piss On Your
Parade," up for grabs at a mere $5.00. Contact me at

2006 Underground Voices