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Jun 2014
All through the night
Heartburn kept him sitting up
Stubbornly refusing
To read the signs:
Heart attack...
Hiatal hernia....
Heart attack...
Heart attack..
Heart attack.

By five, he agreed...told Mom
Baking soda wouldn't work.

His son came in from checking calves,
Worrying over the kitchen light,
Surprised to see his dad
Still sitting on the couch.

At, "I guess we could go to town,"
Son and wife moved into action.

"I need some help to dress," he said.
His helplessness filled them with dread.

First, some socks, but wait....
The nails were long, unkempt.
"I haven't been able to bend that far,"
My brother took Dad's feet in hand,
Cut the nails,
Wondering how he'd failed
To see how fragile, pale, old
This man we loved and feared
Had somehow suddenly become.

There probably wasn't time
To trim Dad's nails,
What with the heart attack,
And all.
But one should never head to town unkempt...
An old familial rule...
And one should cut one's own nails...don't even ask...
Another family rule....
And last...
Father has the last word...
The rule that kept him home all night,
Instead of calling 911.
Sometimes the rules need to be broken. Sometimes our respect for authority allows the wrong kinds of roots to go deep enough that when we finally act, it's too late....
Don Bouchard
Written by
Don Bouchard  59/M/Minnesota
   Sjr1000, Francie Lynch, Jayanta, r and ---
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