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PAD Challenge, Day 4

4/4/2013- Hold that (blank) poem (an edit of a poem written last year)

Hold that Calculation

Two million
six hundred thirty thousand
one hundred and eighty-six minutes
have disappeared into the past;
one thousand
nine hundred
fifty one days
have disappeared
since you last beamed
over a homemade birthday cake.
It was double vanilla, with purple gel icing
because that’s all Grandma had in the cupboard.

We all gathered again on the twenty-sixth
to celebrate your second favorite holiday–
the first, of course, being your birthday.
You sat in your chair,
turned your hearing aid off,
and grew frustrated
that you were only
“walking speed”
on the video game you were playing
with the little girls
who have now grown into young women.
I slyly used the camcorder
to record your silly catchphrase,
somehow knowing in my heart
you wouldn’t be around for another Christmas.

Has it really been
one thousand
eight hundred
twenty-six days
since I held your hand one last time?
I’ve never been good with math–
my only weakness, you would say–
so part of me hopes to believe
that a mistake was made.
Part of me hopes,
once again,
for a miracle.
I hit “replay” on the video screen,
and as your voice comes back to life,
I remember:
the only time
I can turn back time
is stuck in a file on my computer screen.