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Kenyon Wells - I’m Late, I’m Late

“I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date,”
my father shouted back to me
turning around to wave extravagantly
while peering down at an imaginary time piece in one hand,
the other hand attached to a lunch pail
as down our dead end street
he made his early morning way
to meet his ride to the job he disliked.
Every 20 feet or so he stopped and turned
repeating with force and wild gesticulation
the words and the wave,
just like the rabbit in Disney’s Alice
we watched on TV the night before,
until I could no longer hear him.
I stood on the porch in my pajamas
remembering the smoothness of his freshly shaven cheek
that only a minute before I had kissed,
a matchless softness not felt since
on the innocent curve of a baby’s brow
in the supple surrender to a siren and her song.
A moment I still recall more vividly
than any advice or counsel he ever offered.
An instant never diminished by loss or regret
My memory, his essence, together always.