I wrote the notes for this poem on my father’s bed during the wee hours of the night, pen in one hand and his fingers curled around the other. Writing is the best way I know to process emotions and pass through challenging times. It helps me arrange my thoughts and get to the heart of what I’m experiencing. When I arrive at what I feel is a finished poem, essay, or story, I feel a great sense of peace about what has transpired.
Hum um-pah, breathes your machine.
Hum um-pah, to a soothing beat.
Your wheelchair serves as my night watch seat
Hum um-pah, your fears retreat.
Testing fingers squeeze my hand.
Thoughts escape through sieve like sand.
More so trembling child than man.
Hum um-pah. You know I can…
Chase the worry from your mind.
No, there’s nothing you must find.
I’m here for you as I was for Ma
Sleep in peace. Hum um-Papá.
Lean on me throughout the day.
I’ve strength to spare and will not stray.
I’ll keep you safe, no need to fight.
Your daughter keeps the watch tonight.