i studied the way you watched television.
your body balanced on one side,
your arm folded into a pillow.
you are 11 years ahead.
once you carried my body down two sets of stairs
when appendicitis twisted me in two.
daily you carried our grandmother
to breakfast and to bed.
decades you carried our nieces, our nephews, our dogs, our burdens
before you had your own.
your kindness rooted my trust in men.
you climbed corners to ceilings
calmed our adolescent angst
and cured loneliness in all of us,
but mostly mom and dad.
half a century has held you
and we are four-leaf clovers deep for the hours.
i'd like to offer you an afternoon in space,
the oldest barrel of Bushmills,
every father-daughter dance deserved,
a fish-fry dinner with Jesus,
a day in the park with Shelby, Maggie, and Bear,
but i just have memories and words, brother.
still, your kindness roots my trust in men.