The Notebook
Moving Day, March 29, 2015
by Joanie HF Zosike

Daddy. The day has come to pass
Time to stare at your absence before
I turn and walk away, so completely
Incomplete, in despair to leave you

Your fluid presence in this house
Left a shadow of your former self
One symbolic trace of graphite—
The profile of a Romanesque nose

Daddy. You take your shape now in
My mind more clearly every day since
You left this house and flew away to
Who knows where on that horrid day

Moving out on a ghost is hard to do
I placed this act in motion, turned the
Key, started the motor; we’re primed
To leave tomorrow on an eastbound jet

You understand, I’ll never leave you
Hold back the tears from your face so
Noble and fine, leave no grief behind
In your core you most surely know I

Revere your memory, hold you close
Your remaining ephemera, your faint
Dulcet tones, giggles and sighs in this
Night of exit, I will never leave you

I turn a rough corner to a blank page
You are with me every step of the way
My God, my infernal debate about taking
Will and faith to move Mom so far away

Believe that the promise I made to you
Will be fulfilled; I will carry your crown
Your precious wife, remain by her side
And never leave her unaided or forlorn

Our ancestral home is where she abides
The nascence of you accompanies her
Whither thou goest, seep from the crevice
I will bed a garden for you to rise again

PHOTO: The hand of Nathan (The Nose) writing in one of his notebooks at age 97. Photo by Carl Hieger.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Loss. Raw. Still feels raw. Will always feel like an open sore. An absence. And that is the price of love. For when I lose one whom I love, it feels as if a part inside me has been excised, and this tender tissue will always feel raw. On the other hand, I look into the empty space and see great gifts, inherent strength, and the promise that the strange interception of life and death can be transformed into laughter, a poem, a ballet, or a symphony. I write it out. The raw spot is irrigated with gratitude.


Two years after the death of her father Nathan in early 2013, Joanie HF Zosike sold the family home in California, flew back east to purchase another house for her mother Gloria, and returned to California to liquidate and empty out the family homestead. During that time, she also began work on a book, The Nose’s Tale, now in progress. This poem is part of that draft material. Joanie’s writing can be seen in several publications including Bastille, Dissident Voice, Heresies, Maintenant, Rabbit and Rose, and a number of Silver Birch publications and blogs.

AUTHOR PHOTO: Joanie HF Zosike ponders life and the bill at a restaurant in Florence, Italy. Photo by Susan Chute.