Three-week coma, enfeebled left arm. He slowly came back — physical therapy, exercise — and after a time he was himself again, and we figured the binges would resume. But instead he stayed in his room without the radio on and let his beard grow out white. Instead of not coming home for a week at a time, or coming home cursing five nights in a row, he was silent and every evening came out for a snack of bread, jam, and tea before bed. While he was taking a stroll one day, we snuck in and found the poems: one about the death-fear he’d experienced before the coma; one about walking the streets alone; one about a woman he could not speak of; one about the ocean and how it might feel to be a blind man walking into it; one about how he had seen his mother’s breasts when she’d been drunk and wild, and he’d wanted to run into the street. It was as if we’d come across a tunnel under our house that led out beyond the lake to the valley of another language. No one mentioned the poems, but something changed after we found them. My anger began to dissolve. And when we assembled at the table for dinner, I noticed how my grandmother, who had not slept in the same bed with him for thirty years, would sometimes, while serving the food, reach over to touch his hand.