by David Graham

On Finding My Father Still in My Address Book

Two years since he died, ten since his last email,
I fight the urge to email him, knowing how I'll feel
when it bounces.  Better to imagine him perched
at his old computer with instruction manual laid out
on the desk, carefully making his way number to number
down the list of Frequently Asked Questions. 

Almost every night I look up at the moon,
the few constellations I can identify, and think
of him sweeping his arm horizon to horizon,
explaining that dome of glitter above us.
I've forgotten most of it besides Orion, Polaris,
the Great and Minor Bears.  But his steady voice
enters my dream like conversation in a room
next door, parents going over their day as the lamp
slowly cools and stars appear out the window.

No words I can make out, but a sound I like to listen for
nonetheless. You are my most frequently asked
question, Dad.  The answer, too, I guess.

--from Poemeleon 5.1 (Winter 2010/11)