Father

Issue ThreePoetry

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By Jan Price

 

Once,

when I was four

you carried me home

on your shoulders

over a long bridge.

 

Once,

you and I sang

The Anniversary Song

together

in somebody’s kitchen.

 

Once,

I showed you

a hillside of pure yellow

and you didn’t say

‘Daisy-weeds’

in Latin.

 

Once,

I asked you why

your eyebrows frowned

and knitted in the rain – you said

they shaped a veranda

to stop your eyes getting wet.

 

Once,

I said

if I sat still for the rest of my life

I wouldn’t commit sin –

you said

doing nothing is a sin.

 

Once,

only in this moth-eaten church

on this skin shrinking

grave day

where three thin mourners sit

shivering a fool in their eyes –

I will speak

of hunger.

 

Image by Christian Widell