Final Examination

im. my father 1911-1978


Finals: the shining room,
measuring rows of desks.
Among pens and rulers, polo mints,
my sprig of rosemary curled.
Ancient Greeks would thread it
in their hair to sharpen wits.
I bruised the sword-shaped leaves,
began to write.


Now, in a hushed and darkened room,
you're tricked out in your best;
a box lined with satin - the blue
of rosemary in bloom. The herb
Remembrance is squeezed to cast
into your coffin, its green tongues
to writhe and shrivel in your flame.


As if I could forget... who wait
for the boom of your voice, the weight
of your tread, who quicken always
at some flat-capped grey head,
broad back, deliberate pace
still going somewhere, testing me,
holding all the answers now.

by Angela Topping

Comments (1)

my favorite part were your descriptions of the rosemary, at each spot it adds a cetain element to the peice