Thursday, May 24, 2012

Father's Eyes

Father’s Eyes  by Kevin Cahill

I watched you before you knew what it meant
to be held or to blush,
the first time you blinked and collapsed the space 
between my eyes and yours,
the world grew large, fitting neatly within
your cupped hand,
for awhile you skipped in that small spot of light
forever before me,
skirting shadows, a picture ready for the taking 
a smile flirting with the truth,
your face upturned always, the question ever
present, Father, do you see?
I too would smile and say,
yes sweetie, I see.
My great pleasure was you not noticing
as I watched.
Seeing you, in repose, at play, or awake in your
own skin, your face soft and grave,
your eyes absorbed by a ribbon of blue
tangled in a doll's hair,
too far, too deep to fathom, too secret 
to disturb,
But then came the hiding, the love of distance,
the veiled lids,
A father’s eyes, useless and prying, chasing
you into shadows,
Secrets sprouted like mushrooms, hands flying up
to shield our faces,
It was better not to look, better not to see, better
to dream,
A father’s eyes grow dim even as the world
blooms around him,
I hold what I see more dearly than ever, more
clearly than I remember,
For I remember only shadowy things flickering
on sheet rock walls,
and also red stains on linen sheets, damp dark streaks 
upon smooth cheeks,
Strands of dark hair framing dark beautiful
eyes, unblinking and wary,
My eyes register rumors of changes, tempting me 
to ask you, Do you see? 
Do you see? I imagine dancing
before you,
clumsily searching out the spot of light where '
you happen to be gazing.
My head cocked coyly to one side, as I wink and dare 
you to ignore my antics.
A father’s eyes may yet twinkle, as yours did when
when a red balloon sank into the sky,
and the world grew large, stretched far beyond 
your fingers,
And floated away above silent hilltops, nestling
finally in a tale 
where the small cupped hands of a stranger's
child, her eyes blinking wide
as if peering back into a telescope and asking,
Do you see?
 Do you?

May 23, 2012


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