My father passed away on the 19th of February 2009 while I was somewhere up in the sky on a plane, trying to rush home and see him before it was too late. But I was too late.

My original plan was to write a new poem to commemorate the occasion. I’m still working on it, it’s fighting its way out. So I thought I would repost this old poem, which is in Crying in the Car: Reflections on Life and Motherhood.

10 years is a long time… but no time at all.


fashion faux-pas

for dad

Your socks are pulled high
It’s hard to distinguish between
the gradients of white;
where cotton ends and skin begins

Varicoid veins
are gathered behind your knee
like posies of blue flowers

You turn, sit,
open the broadsheet pages
crossing your legs, make a
table for your newspaper

snort phlegm loudly,
probably without realising,
and I click up my ipod
two volume notches

but I keep looking at the socks

My father wore his the same way
now they’re in a drawer
unlikely ever to be worn again

and I’m relieved there are men left
to commit
fashion faux-pas
a role he left
when he left the world


dad and keira

karen andrews

Karen Andrews is the creator of this website, one of the most established and well-respected parenting blogs in the country. She is also an author, award-winning writer, poet, editor and publisher at Miscellaneous Press. Her latest book is Trust the Process: 101 Tips on Writing and Creativity