Ten Years After

By Susan Snively

You’d have liked the book
I’m reading, a crime novel,
but less the white wine,

not your kind of thing–
bourbon with a splash of branch.
I can see you still,

visibly relaxed,
lifted from the depression
we never spoke of,

and I can see me
saying I was so lucky
that you were in my life,

your dark eyes on me
as I stumbled on the words,
not wanting to fall.

You are no longer
you, except in my deep dreams
and of course my love,

which I’ve always thought
would be the only thing
to give us meaning

after we were gone.
I am ten years older now,
you are still my father.

Snively is associate dean of students, director of the Writing Center and the author, most recently, of Skeptic Traveler, a book of poems.