To My Father Who Is

Oh, my father, my father,
Behind the granite there was warmth
As behind death there may be life
And, I, far removed at your passing
Am closer now —
I see your life.

I never knew you
Through all the struggle
Of will against will
Where soaring melancholy
And frozen desire
Gave battle over an unshed tear.

Here is the bright irony
Of this moment in space:
That I should look now
Through the black of the mirror
And see as through crystal
The light behind action.

And I want forgiveness
As I forgive you
For the void there was,
Through the void there is,
To bring us once in the sun
Two whispers on the long, long, plain.

by Roger M. Altenberg © 2005