When Was It That My Father Died?

Poem By Charl JF Cilliers

my father died
as he lived:
in ever-present absence

when i was six
he walked out of the late
night house as surreptitiously as a suicide
going for a swim in the sea

one of three memories
at the age of four: a kite
we made together then
that soared so fiercely

till it hit the full
force of the wind
and nosedived into a ditch

how inconsolable i was!

far more so
than when, thirty
years later, I heard

the news from a distant relative of his
(that he had died)
ten years after his death.

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