At Seventy-six

The petals blur, the shape of the flower is lost
But the bulksome mass of the hibiscus bushes extends
Along the driveway for fifty yards, front to back,

A pink phalanx guarding the entrance to my teenage life,
Forever sunlit, the way a Florida memory flourishes, my
Mother and father existing in all my familiar recollections.

My father rolls forever up the driveway in his new blue
Ford Fairlane - now parked in front of the garage, my 
Father, shirtless, pridefully hosing off the last sudsy

Remnants, tossing me the key to park the car in the garage,
My father looking fit for a man of fifty, and fifty is his 
Reality in my memory, until I am seventy-six, two years

Older than he was when the cancer took him, not going
Down softly, the man who had once had his tonsils 
Removed with no painkillers, cursing the life now leaving.

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Ford Fairlane

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