Solstice slipped into Fathers’ Day in 2020
as I woke to something shifting at 3am.
Sleep only let me back in as the birds sang
for dawn to come soon, too soon—I’m always
wanting more sleep—but dreams burst colorful
as the birth of a galaxy. Short surges of some
strange crystalline magic in my consciousness,
and in the dream I was a fly on the wall in a
tender intimate moment that I have not had:
A middle aged man sing-songing his father
into death in a hospital room, holding the old,
brown-spotted, bird-fragile hands in his strong ones,
crooning, cooing nonsense syllables interspersed
with real words—tablespoon, ladder, hallway, vanilla—
unconnected as charms on a broken golden chain until
in the middle of a flute trill of vowel-laden sounds
he said “chandelier” and his father slipped easily into
death with that last long-labored breath, and the son wept.
Ruth Weinstein lives with her husband on forty acres of Ozark forestland where, in small clearings, they tend their organic gardens. Ruth is a textile artist, making both functional and art pieces in a variety of fiber media. Her memoir, Back to the Land: Alliance Colony to the Ozarks in Four Generations, was published in 2020 by Stockton University Press. Ruth’s poetry appears in print and online journals, most recently in Medicine and Meaning, Plants and Poetry Journal, eMerge Magazine and Silver Birch Press. She acknowledges her paltry social media presence, but she can be found on Facebook.