It occurred to me just now
As I lay on the couch beneath a book
Just beginning to drowse
That I am a happier man than my father
Who, five decades back
Lay in the same posture
Hands between his thighs
Seeking there the warmth he never found
His eyes were closed, his sweater buttoned
But was he asleep, or merely pressing
The world away?
It was odd for him to seek relief
In the center of things, or
Was this a sign of something else
A wasting, a waiting an ineluctable moment
That never came.
In his pale skin and clutched hands was his loneliness asserted
And his solitude made clear
Yes, I am a happier man than my father
For I know better than he what has been lost
And for what one has to wait.