Epitaph (for my Father)


Kim Goldberg

            for Philip Abraham Goldberg (1922-2000)

RedwoodYou showed me how to preserve my
Self in the face of life-long assaults
on the non-conforming Self
You showed me by your example
by your uncrushable laugh
your belief in a reality the herd
could never grasp
You showed me this could be done—
the container could, in fact, be sealed
that when everything has been pummelled
drugged, shunned, disputed
and electrocuted from the blood
and bone and brain, there remains
a tiny seed that no one else can reach
And like a Redwood seed, no bigger
than a tomato pip, yet weighing
four thousand tons, so does your tiny seed
hold all—for what was taken
never mattered in the first place.
All of this you have passed to me
by your sheer existence—bent, gutted
but never truly emptied
With this gift, this magic
I will now live free for both of us
I will evade their traps and tortures
and confinements for both of us
My heart will beat
for both of us

About Kim Goldberg

Kim Goldberg is a poet, journalist and the author of 8 books of poetry and nonfiction. Latest titles: DEVOLUTION (poems of ecopocalypse), UNDETECTABLE (her Hep C journey in haibun), RED ZONE (poems of homelessness) and RIDE BACKWARDS ON DRAGON: a poet's journey through Liuhebafa. She lives in Nanaimo, BC. Contact: goldberg@ncf.ca
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8 Responses to Epitaph (for my Father)

  1. So beautiful Kim… thank-you for sharing. Tara

  2. Laura B says:

    Kim, this is beautiful and powerful and resonant. How lucky you both were to have each other.

  3. Tachyon Belt says:

    Very moving as my father is now unable to walk and declining in health. The words you wrote could have easily have been from me to my dad. May I share this with him ? Blessed we are.

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