Steel dragon-backs sickly-sweet with July
Smell tumorous breaths, lungs of rotten fruit,
Within our path of certainties.
We grip onto the prognosis parade,
We look out through the silence, a damned route,
Toward the window of elegies.
Across the water –
The young doctor says, “An awful spot,”
Pointing to a whiteboard diagram
Of which all is mirrored and made.
Our father sobs, his chair shakes,
We try erasing the blight but
Instead rescind and fade –
All the steel dragons heave, they know us now,
And my brother at the wheel
Has taken the red evening sun and put it in his face.
When the bridges pass, father silent,
Brother takes the red sun out to share,
And we six children give wear for a melancholy pace.
At the end of the day, we break,
The dragons lift and soar through recent memory,
If not for any lengthy future, if for a little bit more:
Everything says –
Shine, you six: Son, Son, Son – Daughter, Daughter, Daughter.
Shine as bright as you can for as long as you can,
And pass it on. Shine – and pass it on.
This dead September beyond the tunnel takes all but these words.
Generations are left quiet in room corners
Thinking of songs belonging to a time before the chair shook.
One last trip with the dragons and The Spirit of the Sky
Claimed all of father’s breath, and all of father’s thought,
And here, with so much taken, is where we didn’t want to look.
But here was here all the time and here will always be,
But there is still there, too, and henceforth called memory.
And memory, you may find, is the present for those left behind.
For the last and shortened bridge:
The dragons went to sleep early tonight.
Now I can’t tell you where, and I can’t tell you when,
But one day the dragons of fate will be only bridges,
The sun of mourning – only the sun,
You will find yourself lost in a time still alive,
But I promise you that it’s more likely to be a particularly glorious day,
And you will look over that moment as a wondrous one.
“How does everyone in this memory not see me? I’m right here.”
They will all see you. We’re all connected like this,
As the awareness of individual mortality is the companion of age.
But you should see them now, too: Understand this present duality.
The light that you shine then shines long after that final breath –
Long after the turning of the generational page –
Such as the one we grasp for right now.