As Father Lay Dying, by Milton P. Ehrlich

As Father Lay Dying
by Milton P. Ehrlich

As Father lay dying
restrained in bed,
he wanted to go home,
but he clung to a phone
grunting orders to his broker
about trades of puts and calls.
Family maintained a vigil,
reading Barons, Business Week
and the Wall Street Journal
to keep him alive.
His quivering voice, a pinhole
of light in the emerging darkness.
Clinging to the last of his breath
he was determined to secure
a vault of safety for Mother.
While the forces of Darkness
tugged at his soul, relentless
in his sense of responsibility,
his withered body focused on
tallying up the numbers
like a good accountant should.
Father taught me to be responsible.
When I lay dying, I’ll revise my poems,
making sure the alliteration,
enjambment and internal rhymes
work well enough for publication.
I’ll keep reading what old Ez taught me
at Ezuversity about how to write poetry
until my eyes give out and I disappear.
Entwined by blood of my blood,
a strike price of love endures.
Father will always be my King
even though we walk divergent roads.

Milton P. Ehrlich, Ph.D. is an 86-year-old psychologist. He is also a Korean War veteran who has published many poems in periodicals such as the Wisconsin Review, Descant, Toronto Quarterly Review, Chariton Review, Vox Poetica, Red Wheelbarrow, Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, and The New York Times.

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