Visionary underneath his pain,
by Leo Yankevich
he lies there, staring blankly at my mother,
cancer spread from his liver to his brain.
She tries to tell him all the latest news,
mentions I’m in flight, and that my brother
and sisters are beside his bed. They smother
him with their grief. My brother offers booze.
But papa calls out to his long dead father,
points to his own bare feet with his cane,
and asks them to take off his heavy shoes.