One large glass of water daily
before the endless cups of green tea,
a glass that stood wrapped
a long time in my father's two hands,
head bowed to it, eyes closed
to the rest of us at the table.
I didn't know what he thought
or felt or said to himself right then
nor how thirsty I was
for a silence so meant
until I felt it filling me too,
slaking the cracked creekbed
of rushed and ordinary days.
Fifty-five years old and home for a visit,
back in the cradle
of his slow kind hands.
~ Lynne Burnett