Ode To My Father

It stung me just to wake up each morning with
Hunger pains so deep beneath my ribs
Trying to make it to the kitchen table
In order to eat breakfast before school

My father beats me to the table early most mornings
And I have to wait to enter
Because I am afraid of the needles
He has to inject in his belly
In order to have insulin to regulate his diabetes

I can feel the pain of the sharp prick that penetrates the layer of skin
And the sight of blood emerging from the flesh
Makes me feel mortal and woozy and neverlasting

My father was like a warrior
In and out of hospital room battles
Surgeries seem endless
Diagnosis’ are perplexing
Kidney failure
Quadruple bypass
Lupus disease
And Bladder removal
Are all battles won
But lost in the end
No soldier can ever keep from bleeding in their hearts
after many years of giving love to people they love

Our family has waited in hospital rooms
Too many times to recount
in and out of times
where I thought many a times
that time would be no more

The last goodbye
Was always one more
To celebrate
And banner our garage door
With a welcome home
It was worth all the treasures life offers
To see my father’s smile
To be alive
And home as a father, husband for fourteen more glorious years

And I remember once I arrived at the morning breakfast table
The sports page was well rested on the table with his bowl of cereal
The routine was setup like a daily military agenda
Bagel ready to be toasted, coffee brewing at the exact time to be ready the bagel is done

He loved his routine as much as he loved being our father
How could I forget the endless trips we forged to Shea Stadium
To see the NY Mets play
And just happen to see them play the Pittsburgh Pirates every time
And of course the home team lost

Our family was no better than our rooting team
As our car always broke down
Somewhere towards the last ¼ of the way home
Often left stranded in Brooklyn or Queens
Like the Mets leaving bases stranded all throughout the game.

But my father never left me stranded
In life
He knew the importance of trying your hardest in everything you did
And if you did that then you already won

The pain I felt from just watching
His injection of insulin every morning
Is a pain I want to know and feel again.

by JSS Shaw

Comments (1)

She's come she's smiled with green hill she's played with ants, bees, flies, mosquitoes, snakes.............. she was independent she was, she was, she is now the hill!