“I Remember…” Albert Kohut, 1915-1989.


(“Salisbury Downs”, watercolor, Jane Kohut-Bartels)

He was my father, who died way too young.  He was a complex and simple man and the parent consistent in his love  for his only daughter. Today is his birthday, and I miss him still.  How many regrets I have for the distance but growing up and going into the world creates this. My father was loved by everyone who met him, even stray rabbits.  I am so fortunate to have married a man who carries some of the very same qualities as my father.  And the five years that they knew each other was a blessing. Thank you, Father, for the many gifts of love.


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, 2018




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2 Responses to ““I Remember…” Albert Kohut, 1915-1989.”

  1. Frank Hubeny Says:

    Nice remembrance of your father. I liked these lines: “I was unmoored from life
    floating out of reach of love.” They described well the shock. I also liked the silent ghost at the end embracing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Frank. I was thinking of that issue: unmoored. That sums it up. I guess there is the usual issues around the death of a parent, but mine was complicated by the issues of siblings. Everyone acts out differently, when allowed. Grief is so individual. It has taken me almost 30 years to come to terms with that unmooring. It was like floating in outer space, tethered to nothingness. I immediately felt the emptiness, the loss of the parent who was consistent in his love, and it threw me. Thank you, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

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