My Father Growing Old
I imagine him getting up early to make
his own coffee. Reading the papers.
No plans for the day. Turning on the radio
a little louder than it has to be.
Alone at home. Then the phone rings,
he answers it, finds me
on the line. His son, a grown man now,
calling from another country, increasingly
distant, more and more a stranger;
The call, cheering him up, nonetheless.
He says, “How are you? How’s everything?”
He really wants to know. He is my father,
after all. He is growing old. But I don’t
know where to start. I want to tell him that
I love him and that I’m sorry I have to
live my own life now. But these are not the
things I know how to say from a distance.
These are things I know I may never learn
to say. So we speak of smaller daily things,
and soon this brief connection will
unmake itself, and expire.
By Gilbert Koh
QLRS Vol. 1 No. 1 Oct 2001