old man

by Amy Turn Sharp


I didn't know what he was talking about the first few times he said it.
old man
old man

fat finger pointing towards the hallway
I sat up from the sofa the next day and heard it clear as day
OLD MAN
Blaise said it and pointed at the cellar door
while me and my brother-in-law had coffee in the kitchen on afternoon.
OLD MAN
And he has continued to say it randomly throughout our time here.
We all want to believe it is dad.
And we do now as in the country garden wake at Uncle Richard's estate he looked at old photographs that a friend of dad's had brought and took the thick little finger and pointed at the handsome man we all now miss and said clear as crystal knocking off a surface and breaking into thousand tiny pieces:
OLD MAN
and his finger lingered
mushing cake and other food bits
right on the reflection of dad
OLD MAN
Last night he told me in two year old broken toddlerish
that old man was sitting beside me
I wasn't afraid
sad
but unafraid
Dad was a spiritualist- he told me so much about his beliefs in the last decade.
I believe. I know he would try and come to us now.
I guess none of us thought he would find his way through a fat little boy in his last year of babyhood.
Through a small mouth that made things real.