Clairvoyance

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A story which after 30 years I felt needed telling. Foreknowledge is a gift that can be very painful as well as comforting, and I was blessed with it here.

Clairvoyance


It was a typically hot August 1st in 1981,

The 3rd day of a trip back home, that dad had ventured on,

A reprieve from work, on a job, far away from home,

To fill back up on home cooked meals, and catch up with his own.

 

After lunch we talked a bit, and moved into the parlor,

I with paper, dad with western, saddled in recliner,

Mom in our country kitchen, still clearing off the table,

And packing food for his return, to keep him fit and able.

 

But as I tried to concentrate, and read this printed news,

I was interrupted by a thought that I could not subdue,

That repeatedly came back to mind and tore my heart asunder,

The polar opposite of thoughts, such as of awe and wonder.

 

Now no longer could I read, for the film across my eyes,

That formed a tear run down my cheek, and brought about a sigh,

And dampened my long whiskers, as I tried to steel my heart,

To put aside this awful thought, before my dad departs.

 

Somehow I felt, at 6 foot 4, robust and full of health,

This premonition I’d been given, was the last I’d see himself.

So I turned my gaze and studied every facet of his face,

So through time his memory would never be erased.

 

I finally turned to Sunday’s funnies, to lighten my demeanor,

And cast my thoughts to other things, by far much more routine’r.

Then as dad put down his book, to go and get some gas,

I rode shotgun along with him, incase it was our last.

 

Then we loaded up his car, with food, briefcase and clothes,

You know as men we go through life, emotions to forgo,

But now… to Hell with that!, as I wrapped my arms around,

And told him “you know I love you dad”, rare words that I had found.

 

And kissed his cheek and heard him say “you know I love you too”,

We just smiled, it felt so good, to emotionally break through.

But still deep within my heart, I wanted to say don’t go,

But how would I explain to him this premonition I foreknow?

 

Now it’s August 21st, a Friday after supper,

When I go to meet my biker bro’s, for a late night picker upper.

But as the gang’s about to leave, the wind full in our face,

I get the strong urge to go home, and lay about and wait.

 

I’ve never bailed out on a run, and left my bro’s behind,

But can’t explain, the determination, that set upon my mind.

Then at 12:15 A.M., the phone rang by surprise,

The news was Bad, it was the cops, my father’d lost his life.

 

Killed by an 18 yr. old drunk, speeding through the city,

Expired reg, not insured, revoked license and no pity,

Slammed my father broadside, in his door, speed exceeding 60,

Running wild all through the streets, all liquored up on whiskey.

 

That’s when I remembered, the last time that I’d seen my dad,

And felt a gratitude to God, for this privilege I’d had,

To see into the future and, take steps to end last regrets,

So a dying father, could recall... his son’s last epitaph.

 

 

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If I feel physically as if the top of my head were taken off, I know that is poetry.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet.

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