Words || Yehuda Aharon
I remember, sometimes –
the very few times you slept,
the house shuddered as your hard breath
almost blew life away.
Tzvi and I crept into your office
DO NOT DISTURB
we studied, we proved ourselves of you,
your chemicals, your books, your once grey hair.
I remember, Sunday afternoons
you were in the yard with a circular saw,
building us something stable
like you –
the sound of industry excited me,
I loved the smell of sawdust.
It lingered then left.
I remember, sixteen and seventeen
Tzvi and I abandoned your world
I found whisky, girls and cigarettes
I stopped calling you Tatti
scared it was not cool.
Tzvi broke first stewing his brain
with Warcraft and self-doubt
“Scientists don’t deal with emotions”
but NPCs give better thanks
and park benches are more accepting.
Now, when I remember
your voice was so big
because you were hollow,
exhaust fumes running
on the smell of an oily dollar.
Too tired to rest,
too burnt out to stop.
Now I know,
*Tatti is the Yiddish equivalent to ‘Daddy.’