A Present from Christmas Last

I toss the shirt into the wash—

To rid it of its factory must.

A gift from my father,

Though he didn’t choose it.

My sister did—shopping

Being for him out of the question

Christmas last.

This gift seemed more a duty

Being fulfilled. When I thank him

He looks at me blankly.

He has no idea.

Among all the gifts he gave

This the last

And he’s no idea

Why I kiss him, and kiss him again.

This gift, adrift of his love,

Like the card he could only mark

Bypassed him completely.

In this now the third week after his death

I toss a new shirt into the wash.

And watch it tumble then submerge

Along with every other thing there.

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