I asked my sister for this, this letter
that lays bare the last days of my father.
Our father. For then I was in a distant land,
the furthest side of the world,
where no one I knew had ever been.
Two years after he died
I came for a brief visit,
introduced my young family
to the grass that grows
above my father’s bones.
One evening, laughter, hysterical
laughter, filled the living room I grew up in
as my sisters tickled my twin daughters.
Those moments drove away the stale darkness
that hung unspoken. In all the days I was there
No one shared a word about his passing.
Not to me, at least, but to my wife
from another land. I was spared
the details of grieving. And that
silence clung, a hungry beast.
Until finally this letter. Not really a dagger
for the beast, but fodder. My god,
you do have a sick sense of humour.
Hiding the key from my father
when he was no longer himself,
At the mercy of chemicals,
underpaid nurses. His body
like a puppet tied by a prankster
to a rattling exhaust pipe.
You cut us down to size, god.
So I gave you a small “g” here,
for now. Until I wake up from this
endless grief, see this pathetic rant,
and somehow repent. Or curse some more.
Whichever wins. You always do.
Go ahead. Do your mad dance.
I can stare forever at your antics,
silent as a lump of meat
before a fire,
before a feast.