(15/07/56 / Curragh Camp, Co. Kildare, Eire.)

' ' ' ' Your Dad Is...(For Debbie)

Although I know her best
& it’s me she trusts

The manager insists it’s he
who’ll tell her

her Dad
is dead.

He eager to show off
his prowess

in the newly acquired
Sign language.

His hands
shape the sound

she cannot hear

searching the empty air
for the meaning

hidden there
Death torn out of the sky.

She goes berserk
not because he’s conveyed the news

but because
of his inept fingers

the bang bang mime of dead
morphs mistakenly into the sign
for our four legged friend.

“My Dad is a dog? ”
her fingers tear the air apart in fury.

The ugly signs
dropping to the ground

in a big silent klunk.

I tell her quickly
what she needs to know

& now
she wishes back

the supposed
insult.

His death still hanging there
as if sculpted there.

A rainstorm breaks
as if trying to wash it away.

I take her
in my arms

and she cries
his death

into me.


All these years later
her tears

still nailing me
to her agony.

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