My dad and I found ourselves at three matinees this week sharing buttered popcorn and a giant-sized medium coke. We’ve seen “1917,” “Ford versus Ferrari,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” “1917” left us somber and awed, “Ford versus Ferrari” – energized and proud. “The Rise of Skywalker” sparked elation. 

His feelings fade as he shuffles and I walk to the car. His thoughts slip away. “What was the name of that movie again?” he asks, each day. And I tell him, and we are happy.

*      *      *

The owls stand guard on the windowsill

with the angels

in my parents’ home.
Outside you might find
a broken thing –

things that are dried out, brown – 

But also beginnings

and a dove hiding among pansies and the earliest narcissi.

My father sleeps
and when he wakes he thinks of my mother
and remembers that she is on her way somewhere –
on a camel’s back she is on her way back to herself.

He has found his gentleness
while I continue to find my

On the empty stairs in the parking lot garage I think –
I pity the person who would try to hurt me.

*      *      *


*      *      *


My mother in law and mother (Mary Collins Puryear and Marion Herndon)

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