Thursday, 4 July 2013

The Farthest Journey

It is in the sound of the apparatus, like gods,
they surround him, stare into his heart
and murmur a decision about him, that I feel
my disconnect from the prospect of his death.
I offer silent prayers to these unknown machines.
Every labored breath he takes, I promise another act
I will perform as penance, as payment, a stalling
of the ferry’s price, not the fee of crossing
but the lurch and then the wave farewell,
as if my thoughts are a cat of nine tails, and I flay
my future with this fear of being left fatherless.

On his finger resides a clip, as if he is dangling on a line,
or being dangled; a slim chance that he may yet return
to my shore, open his eyes, cease his ramblings
about a past before I was born and smile again at me,
his last boy - this father of mine fights a battle in a white room
and outside the world is grey but between is the deep green
of the river, will he emerge or sink? Gone forever,
like the large trout glimpsed and then slips free of the hook -
Oh father keep hold of this hook called life
there is still so much I have yet to talk to you about.

I have not the words of farewell, sacred or profane;
they got lost somewhere in the journey away from home – I
cannot remember when he held me, or the feel of his lips,
only your chin, rough as sandpaper, and your watery eyes
that smiled at me whenever I found my way home.

I have wandered far, thought I had left him behind
and now I stand at his bedside and realize
he is about to take the farthest journey and I stand here
and try to remember every shattered aspect of us.

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