Palinode

pal·i·node
/ˈpaləˌnōd/
noun
a poem in which the poet retracts a view or sentiment expressed in a former poem.

My father stands in my memory
seriousness, good intentions intact.

He has shifted in my time
from distance to closeness,

shed his professional ambition
and all his focused successes

to enter my life still wearing 
his white coat and black tie.

He smiles, gives the old laugh,
pats my back like an associate

convinced the business way
works for the family way.

He reads the room and says
he wants to be your inspiration

yet, you know, all he does
is put patients asleep  

and correct the few 
grammatical slips 

in the poems 
you dare show him.

His ghost expects you 
to spread his ashes 

in  between the white
spaces of this poem.