by Nina Bennett

The first Easter after Dad died
I waited for him to come back to life.
I sat at dinner, silence broken
by klink of fork against china,
swish and crackle of ice
as I stirred sugar into my tea.
I tried to ignore the whispered hypocrite,
you don’t believe in the resurrection

I am responsible for my father’s
death. I’m the one who implored
the ICU doctors to convince my brother
it was time to forgo life-sustaining treatment,
to explain that our father now existed
in a realm we could not access.

First child, oldest daughter,
I’m the one who rested my head
on Dad’s chest, strained to hear
his fading heartbeat, pressed my fingers
against the once-pulsing artery in his neck,
pushed the call button and told the nurse
his final exhale was at 5 p.m.

Nina Bennett is the author of Forgotten Tears A Grandmother’s Journey Through Grief. Her poetry has appeared in numerous journals including Requiem, Tipton Poetry Journal, San Pedro River Review, The Summerset Review, Bryant Literary Review, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, The Broadkill Review, and anthologies such as Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS. Nina is a contributing author to the Open to Hope Foundation.