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Father’s Day by Bruce Guernsey

Father’s Day
Poetry and Essay by Bruce Guernsey
Wild River Review, June 2008

For the buried, closure.
For the missing, space–
This Illinois distance
Where a man can walk forever,
Stubble and sky,
Where a house on the other side
Is ever the horizon.

Ten years ago this month—June, the month of Father’s Day—what was thought to be the remains of my father’s body were found in some woods along a ridge by a couple of hikers. He had disappeared three years before from a VA hospital in rural Pennsylvania. His Parkinson’s Disease had finally exhausted my mother, and she couldn’t keep him at home anymore. On most days, he was helpless, but every once in a while, he could with a struggle dress himself. Gaining momentum, he’d then shuffle about, gathering speed as he went, head-down and charging like the soldier he once was into enemy fire—that is, into whatever was in the way, be it a lamp or a shelf full of crystal, and down they’d come. And if a door were open, out he’d go, which is exactly what he did that day at the VA…[read the rest on Wild River Review]

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