Occasional thoughts of an Anglican Episcopal priest

Lenten Journal 2019 (23 March)

Lenten Journal, Day 17

Somewhere in memory is a room
Its walls are Navajo White, or possibly pale yellow
It is furnished with twin beds with quilted, green spreads
There is a dresser on the wall opposite the beds
Between the beds, a table with a lamp and a radio
The wall next to one bed holds the door to a closet
And on that wall, next to the corner of that wall and the dresser wall,
Is the door into the room
The middle of the wall next to the other bed is pierced by a window
It is the front wall of the house
And the window looks out onto the street

In this memory there is a highway patrol cruiser on the street
There is a state trooper in the living room
He stands next to my mother
Another state trooper is at the door of the room
With Navajo White, or possibly pale yellow, walls
He is closing the door

This is the room where my father died
Though not really
It is the room where I went to lie down
After I learned that my father was dead
It is the room where my father died in me
Where my father died and I cried
And cried and cried and cried

But not really
My father died in me sometime earlier
And my father never died in me, ever
That is the thing about fathers
They die in so many ways
And yet they never die

It was March, 1958
I was five years old
I think I was 22
When I finally gave up believing
He might someday miraculously return
When I stopped crying myself to sleep
Asking Daddy to come back
Fathers die in so many ways
And yet they never die
And we never really stop crying
In rooms with walls of Navajo White,
Or possibly pale yellow,
With quilted green bedspreads,
And tables with lamps and radios,
Radios that play nothing but static
And lamps whose incandescent bulbs flicker in the darkness
As state troopers close the doors

– C. Eric Funston, “In Memory, A Room,” March 23, 2019

1 Comment

  1. Peggy Hunt

    Poignant — very moving, Eric.

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