In Our Eyes

By Eric Greinke

My father died looking in my eyes.

He was fifty-four.  I was thirty.

He’d collapsed on Division Avenue,

walking home from a party store,

his bottle clutched in a brown paper bag.

The hospital called me at work,

I was the last to arrive.

When I got to his room, my sister & brother

made a place for me by the head of his bed.

“He’s unconscious.” my mother said

as she leaned against the wall.

I looked at his closed eyelids for a moment.

He opened them, & gazed deeply into mine.

He squeezed my hand once, then his eyes

rolled up to show the whites.

Everyone there cried, except for me.

I didn’t cry for ten more days,

until the night my first son was born.

My father never saw my children.

I went home, alone, the night the first was born.

I sat in my attic & cried through the night.

I wept for both birth & death.

 

At the funeral home his mother & I sat

on a red love seat & she saw into me.

“You look more like your father

than ever before.” she said.

“It’s in your eyes.”

___

Eric Greinke has two new Presa Press books scheduled for 2016, Poets In Review (a collection of forty-six reviews written from 1972 to the present) and Zen Duende – Collaborative Poems with Glenna Luschei (which includes Lone Bones, published in this issue of Forge for the first time).  www.ericgreinke.com


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