Most nights, I see Papa in my dreams. In a slower-than-life pulse, in a not-so-common four-count measure, he smiles as he grabs the knob of our screen door and opens it to enter. His movement repeats. He smiles and opens the door. Smiles and opens the door. Each time, he never enters. He never falls.
But Papa did fall; collapsed before crossing our threshold into the house his neighbors helped him to build. Four years ago now, all of the notes of Papa’s life faded away with his last breath. A stillness so loud that my ears still burned.
If only Papa hadn’t died.