Twilight’s ruddy, swollen clouds mask this evening’s stars.
This evening is so numb, so shell-shocked from this morning’s act.
We did not really take him at his word.
Yet in an instant of action
(perceived by some as heroic,
perceived by others as hostile,
perceived by others as cowardly retreat)
the thread was cut, the doubt and the line ended,
yet never ending the indifferent grind of our time.
The innocent and the uninvolved danced around the obvious
as long as they had to,
concluding briefly that the act had to be singular
Apart from others.
As selfish as he had ever been and yet not.
Ambivalent by being prescriptive, tidy
and yet self-indulgent, insulated, insolent and somehow incomplete.
The revealing sky gave me hope upon the passing of his partner.
This troubled, angry, nightmare sky brings nothing but silence
Broken only by the heartfelt, weary whisper,
“Good-bye old soldier”
now fading away from this frozen moment
between the lightness and the dark.
For my father
Francis Norton Gallagher 3/26/16 – 5/20/98