I Never Said I Love You to My Father

we were men
we never said I love you
right or wrong
that’s just the way it was
between fathers and sons
but there was one time
I remember
when my father was in the hospital
I think it was
something about his heart and
I was standing
by the side of the bed
holding his hand and
I don’t know
if he thought
he was going to die
or what
hooked up to monitors and
that long IV
looking up at me
with his watery eyes and
my father told me
he loved me
when I was
getting ready to leave
but I didn’t say it
back to him
I remember
walking toward the door and
all I said was