Monument to Life

by Cyndi Yuska

I lived once
     in a day

when my eight-year-old's bed
strained under the buckling

of a grown man's shuttering frame. But I
ceased to live
another day

when my dad lay dying
on pee-stained blankets,
skin drooping off
his clacketing bones,

me gorging him
with baby food,
soggy stew,
and V-8.

Rotted hair fell to my
pillow, crippled legs were sliced
with pain.

I learned to live again
this final day,
many years after
he took his
last breath

and now my childhood bed
stands at my side:
a monument to the myth of a man
who was more than what he died for.