I wrote this poem in December of 2004.
A Goodnight Kiss
He laid there on his rumpled bed, his haggard face full of rolling wrinkles against his harsh skin, his uneven breathing the only sound in the small dark room.
I held his sweaty palm in my soft young hands and sat on the edge of my chair laying my head gently on his chest to feel it rise and fall, rise and fall,
listening to his unsteady heartbeat.
Bum da dum. Bum bum da dum da dum. Bum da dum.
His wrinkled fingers from his other brown-spotted hand soothingly flowed through my long auburn hair.
I watched his almost-purple tongue flick across his blue chapped lips,
my name rasping from his mouth.
I lifted my head to peer into his dull eyes, my heart sinking into my chest.
“My little girl.”
He slowly lifted his trembling hand and caressed my cheek with his index finger,
the way he always did when he put me to bed and kissed me goodnight many years ago.
I turned my face and put my soft lips against his callused palm.
As I felt his hand go limp and the life disappear from his eyes, my eyes over brimmed with tears spilling down my cheeks.
I studied his face, knowing that one day I would never see the little crow’s feet around his gentle brown eyes or the dimples around his once-quick smile.
I would no longer feel his strong arms surround me in his warmth and love.
I laid my head back on his now unmoving chest, holding his hand against my heart,
never wanting to let him go.