To Speak From the Heart


I speak from the heart, for those who cannot.
I speak of love, of love for life.
I speak for my father.

From whom, in the end,
came only garbled words and discordant grunts
to get my attention, to show his feelings, to be understood.

Using his palm on the table,
he would express himself,
as if on a drum. A rhythmic emphasis
like modern music--easily interpreted by those
who love and feel its language.

His off-key emotions would rise to a crescendo,
leaving his true self trapped inside.
Instead, he wept when I told funny jokes
and laughed when we watched sad movies.
His anger was rare, crashing like cymbals
though never toward me.

His soft touch, his silent strength, his enduring courage
spoke to me in ways words never could.
His intelligent eyes searched mine hoping I could understand.
He would reach for my hand and hold on tight
with firm determination to never give up.

All that is left of my father is a beautiful symphony
playing in my head, always inspiring me
to speak from the heart.

copyright © 2018 Elaine Fisher

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