Our father’s lawn is afire with poppies.
Inside...the walls – bright as a new-penny-piece;
stretched out on a settee – my feet next to yours.
I could stay forever, despite him not being here,
thanks to you, this house remains a home.
We speak of trivial things; of next year’s spring –
of primroses and peonies, even though we yet have
autumn and winter to bear – you with jaded bones
and me with heavy heart.
I ask, “What was Father really like?
You know,” I say, “Man to man.”
Watch you smile behind your eyes...
We reminisce about his passion for Mozart...
and his love affair with astronomy, and how
he saw the funny side of things...from
dinged front bumpers – the odd faux pas,
to zany paint jobs, and half-baked inventions
that never quite got finished.
I reluctantly draw the curtains, and wish,
so much in his life hadn’t become faded –
frayed and rotten at the seams. A draught
blows chill through a crack in the glass,
and in lots of way, tonight, I feel like a moth
attracted to a flame, and yet still I flutter
my more than eager wings.
I tell you I dream of him, sometimes, except,
when I wake, his face, I cannot bring to mind...
Tell you I think you’re blessed – being able
to capture his essence – keep part of him,
at least, a little alive. I ask where you hope
your writing will lead to...
You confide, you’d heard, only that day,
you’d scooped first prize in some literary
competition, or other... The princely sum
of fifty pounds, you’d won, and so
didn’t plan on retiring...not quite yet.
A distant rumble of thunder competes
with Father’s infectious chuckle...
channelled through your lips; a log-fire,
a book, and you, make light of this
as, soft, down the chimney, the wind
whispers – half threat, half promise,
of rain, in the offing, with its sober,
I say, “Goodnight. Sleep well,”
and you bid the same to me...the girl
who went in search of who she thought
she was, and found, instead,
someone she used to be.