When Old Men Die

We try not to think of our fathers. How they,
At this age or in this shirt or with that
Grey stubble on their now less frequently shaved chin,
Speckling a bonier jaw, a slacker jowl, a skrawnier neck - 
Would look. We try not to meet that old man’s
Eye. How the sockets are drawn in, how
It seems shinier somehow, intent on your face
So as to read your thoughts perhaps anticipate 
Your rejection your already-forgiven guilt
Your patience already wearing thin. We try
Not to listen to the intensity of their speech
How it repeats its urgent injunctions, its requests, its
Generous bequests. When old men die
We try not think of our fathers 
As a man who dodders where he stands. A man 
Who built a nation with his hands.

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