Thou Art That

Thou Art That May 20, 2013

Read Mark’s weekly reflections on The Huffington Post.

At ninety-three, my father is failing. He’s in between worlds, close to both life and death. We’ve slipped into a time of presence more than conversation. At times, he surfaces like an old whale, offering bits of this world and the next. This poem comes from that precious time.


Thou Art That

Again, I make my way to you.

I don’t want you to die. But I

love what death does to you. It

softens your face, and makes you

empty your pockets to show me

what you’ve carried for so long.

Here, a small stone from Prospect

Park when you were a boy and the

model boat you built glided into

shore nudging against it, as if the

gods were giving you something

to hold on to. You want me to

have it, though there’s nothing

in your hand. I see it father, I see

it. I take this small nothing from

you, ready to carry its secret

that no one can translate.



A Question to Walk With: Go to an elder in your life and ask them what they see from where they are in life. Journal what transpires and, at another time, share the whole story with a loved one.



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