images for the found poem
The Last Kiss – Ralph Fletcher
Symmetry seemed pervasive, an apparent law of nature.
It extended to the kisses I got from my parents.
Out kisses were passionate moments that passed much too quickly.
A kiss from my mother’s meant a great big hug. My mother’s kisses potent, but not potent enough.
Next my father. Thus, blessed twice kissed I could go off safely to bed.
One night I went to kiss my mother good night.
Next, I went to find my father. He was working down in the basement; he glanced up when I approached.
Father knew exactly why I was there. This evening he became busy.
I watched, tapping my foot, trying to be patient. Several minutes passed.
“I’m going to bed” I said “well good night then” he said.
I was stunned.
There was something in his voice that made me not ask again. I went to bed.
Next night I decided to try father again. I went to him.
Found him outside, behind his car, the trunk opened. He was on the road a great deal.
It was 8:30 the lawn behind was alive with fireflies.
I approached noisily, clearing my throat.
” it’s bedtime”
“good night then” he said turning away.
I stood there.
My mind held was too large to formulate into a question, too vague to clearly recognize as loss.
This grim truth finally sunk in.
I was too old to be kissed by my father.