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About the Poem

This poem is about my relationship to my father and the difficulty of its changing aspects as he faces old age and illness. At these times, some of us question our own mortality and our connection to parents and other family members as we face the past and the unknowable future.

Elevator Thoughts

I thought you needed my support,
as I watched your body sway in the hospital elevator,
I touched your elbow with a finger,
grazing gently,
and witnessed how your body shrank away.

I thought, this time,
I could be just a ghost,
so slightly beside you that
you would not even feel my texture.

Here was my most minimal offering,
I could be your pillar,
Let you lean against my wall defenses,
but you moved so far away that
I know I would never be an anchor
for any of your weakness.

It is in ways like this,
that I have come to understand
how you would choose death
in any of its disguises,
rather than allow your closet needs to
create a new shape for us.

All of this in the elevator,
makes me think,
"You are so hard to love."

All of this in the elevator,
makes me wonder,
"Am I so hard to love, too?"
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© 1999 May Klein Please respect the rights of the author and Passions in Poetry. If you would like to use this poem on your own web page, please contact the Author. Thank you.

3 Visitor Comments

I liked that there are deeper thoughts behind this, not just surface feelings.
I feel like you've been reading my thoughts. This very scene was played out by my daughter and I. This is my life. Never did I think we could drift so far apart.
I really enjoyed your poem. It touched my heart and made me think. Father-daughter relationships. They're complicated!

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