“I Remember….”

"Early Autumn Dusk", oil, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2003

“Early Autumn Dusk”, oil, Jane Kohut-Bartels, 2003

It has been 25 years this November 5th, that my father, Albert Kohut, died.  He was the parent who loved me, his only daughter,  though I didn’t always recognize  he did.  Now?  I have only memories, nothing tangible except a mouthpiece of his French horn,  but memories and that, small enough.  Of course, his DNA courses through my veins and considering his nature, I believe that this is where the poetry was born.  You don’t forget and you don’t ‘get over it’.  He was the only adult who showed unconditional love in my childhood. He is loved by me.

Lady Nyo 

I Remember….


I remember the scream

In the middle of the night

Of something dying

Down by the river,

Killed by an owl

Or possibly a fox.

I remember bolting awake

In my parent’s bed,

My heart in my throat

My father just died

The funeral over

Sleeping in

His bed,

Afraid to move from this reality

To the next,

No comfort to be had

Even with the scent of

His tobacco in the sheets.

I wandered the house,

Touched the walls,

Looked through windows

To a landscape not

Changed over years,

Ran my hands down the

Black walnut banister,

Smooth, smooth

As if the days would turn back

Just by this touch

And he would be here.

That scream somewhere on the banks

In the middle of the night,

When I jerked from sleep to

Awake, knowing, he was dead-

The father who loved me

Was gone forever.

I knew then

I was unmoored from life

floating out of reach of love.

A scream that challenged dreams

He would come back,

He wasn’t awaiting the fire

He would wake up,

Much as I did,

In a cold-sweat fear

And slowly, slowly

resume his place in the living.

There are unseen things

That happen in the night,

Down on the river bank,

Where life is challenged by death

Where a rabbit screams his mighty last

Where the heart leaps to the throat,

Where the most we can hope

Is a silent ghost

Who walks out of the river’s fog,

Extends his arms

And embraces the sorrowing.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

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6 Responses to ““I Remember….””

  1. Caliban's Sister Says:

    “I knew then

    I was unmoored from life

    floating out of reach of love.

    A scream that challenged dream”

    How perfectly that captures the feeling of being permanently disconnected from one you love and who loved you. What a catastrophe, especially given how little you had left around you to fill you with love. Beautiful poem for your father. love CS


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi CS…..well, I had this vision of me being in a spacesuit and floating out in space…..as soon as my father died. It was so strong. And you are right….the only one in my birth family that loved me.

    By the way, Chessie (15 year old cat) died Oct. 13th. Put him to sleep, he was so tired, he and I both made the decision as I held him in my arms. Heart disease. I miss him so much. He gave me one last “Glasgow kiss” and then he was gone.

    Love, Jane


  3. Caliban's Sister Says:

    A Glasgow kiss? So the poem is for your father and Chessie. A lot of loss in a life of great creativity and generativity. Remember that always. xo


  4. ladynyo Says:

    I guess it could be. A Glasgow Kiss is a headbutt..which is how Chessie ‘kissed’ us. Even at the end…before we put him down, he gave me one last ‘kiss’. This is the only cat that ever did this here.

    Oh CS….they live short and brutal lives…and Chessie had a good one, but still. Go back a few posts on the blog and you will see a picture and tribute to him.

    Thank you, dearheart.

    xx, Jane


  5. TR Says:

    Sending you hugs. xx


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you,TR! I’ll take those hugs and give them back, also.

    Love, Jane


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