The Weight of Him by Laura Foley

The Weight of Him

In the dental chair, my heart banging
against my ribs like a prisoner
in a burning jail, I remember
how cold Dad was, in cashmere coat,
well-shined leather shoes, shivering
as we walked from East End to York,
each step he took, among his last on Earth.

I imagine gravity dragging at his weight,
the heavy slowness of his gait.
If each of us cannot be anywhere
other than where we are, please explain
how I connect with the dead like this,
whenever the dental dam goes in,
whenever they say to me, be still.

by Laura Foley, first Published in One, Jacar Press

Editor’s Note: The imagery of this poem is startling and sharp as it layers multiple narratives atop each other.


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