Fatherless Time

Seconds before they lowered my father’s

casket into the ground, the boyish-handed

man from the crackerjack funeral home team

directed me to place my boutonniere on the lid.

I did. But he didn’t see me strip my metaphorical

watch and place it there too. I doubt anyone did.

I’m learning now to live on fatherless time—a

zone that knows nothing of designations such

as Mountain or Central or Greenwich Mean.

Time’s told here by the luminescence of intent.

The only ticking I must pay attention to comes

from my metaphorical but also literal chest as

my father’s ghost voice says “This is your time now.”


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  1. Irv on April 13, 2021 at 8:08 am

    Still feel it with my Dad now 17 years gone….

    Eagles’ “It’s Your World Now” is worth a listen… He is speaking to you for sure—mine still does

  2. Cherry on April 13, 2021 at 8:32 am

    Wonderful writing!
    (you are living grief in beauty)

  3. Melody on April 13, 2021 at 8:51 am

    Phew! So right.

  4. Christine Perica on April 13, 2021 at 9:41 am

    Oh my! All of your writings concerning your Father’s death have been so right on and heartfelt. Grieving a parent no matter your age, or their age, is very hard. “Fatherless/Motherless Time” perfect description. Endless adjustment. Praying for peace and comfort.

    • Lynda Smith on April 13, 2021 at 11:14 am

      Christine, I so agree with you. I look forward to reading John’s blog’s. His dad was my cousin and John without knowing it, is helping me cope with David’s passing. I miss David’s text and email’s..

  5. JUDY BURKE on April 13, 2021 at 2:28 pm

    Oh John I am so thrilled to see this heartfelt message – – Not that I count but I feel you are feeling your Dad’s message and love in a way of such beauty and helping others. God bless You and Yours Shawn and his and the Rose Miss Anna Judy

  6. Gretchen on April 13, 2021 at 2:33 pm

    Time is such an odd concept/experience/measuremenr-even more so in grief.

  7. Helene on April 13, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    I lost my dad January 3rd. Your writing puts words to my feelings. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Janice Proett on April 16, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    Mercy to you, John.

    I wonder what color and pattern of Pendleton blanket will buffet you in this, your time.

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