My Father Rises

My father rises slowly through soft earth
by the fence where we buried him nearly
ten years ago.  Pale and thin, white hair
plastered with mud, he makes his way
into the kitchen through the screen porch,
careful to leave his soiled shoes outside.
By the time I offer him coffee, made just
how he likes it, strong with an extra scoop
for the pot, he is clean in white shirt, jacket
buttoned, ready to go to the bank or
downtown to work.  "Why are you here?"
I ask and he answers "I have come to see
the plants."  We walk back outside
through spring oaks and dew soaked, emerald-
thick grass.  He stops twice to look around,
breathe deep.  "Garden smells so good!"
he says.  At the neighbor's fence we bend
to look at clusters of mum stems bursting
from the ground, green flames of iris leaves,
tall lilac bushes just budding purple and white
above the damp hole gaping at their complex roots.

Steve Klepetar

If you've any comments on this poem, Steve Klepetar would be pleased to hear from you.