About this Poem 

“Near the end of his life, my father proved to be, at his core, a very polite, chivalrous man. He walked the halls of the facility where he lived, introducing himself and shaking people's hands as he had done at Rotary meetings. He complimented the nurses, ‘You have a lovely figure.’ He could also eat an entire 2 lb. box of See's Candies in an afternoon, which requires considerable effort with stage five Parkinson's disease.”
—Jennifer L. Knox

Auld Lang Syne

Jennifer L. Knox

Dad couldn’t stop crying after Kathy moved him into the facility. 
When she came to visit, he’d cry and say he wanted to die. He said 
the same thing to the nurses. This went on for about a month until 
the doctor put him on an antidepressant especially for Parkinson’s 
patients. The next time Kathy came to visit, she found him in the 
cafeteria, talking to some of the other residents and not crying at 
all—just enjoying his lunch. When it was time for her to go, he 
didn’t cry, but rather calmly escorted her to the car. “Do you like 
this car? My wife and I were thinking about getting one,” he told 
her. “That’s very interesting,” Kathy smiled, “because I am your 
wife.” Dad chuckled, “Is that right?” He squinted over the palm trees 
towards the freeway. So many cars. Busy busy busy. “Well, we’ll see 
you later, then,” he said, and shook her hand firmly, the way he’d 
learned to do at Rotary. What funny new friends he was making. 

Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer L. Knox. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 11, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Copyright © 2014 by Jennifer L. Knox. Used with permission of the author. This poem appeared in Poem-A-Day on February 11, 2014. Browse the Poem-A-Day archive.

Jennifer L. Knox

by this poet

poem

When my father was nine years old, his mother said, "Tommy, I'm taking you to the circus for your birthday. Just you and me, and I'll buy you anything you want." The middle child of six, my father thought this was the most incredible, wonderful thing that had ever happened to him—like something out of a fairy tale

poem
and it takes me a triple-take to realize it's scanning
me, or something near my ear—that must be it. No plant’s 
ever complimented my perfume—wait—there it goes 
again. Did you see that? [Time passes, drinks] "Sure, I 
remember when I thought you were a fern but you were!
Who could blame me?" I tell the what’s