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.
Your socks are pulled high
It’s hard to distinguish between
the gradients of white;
where cotton ends and skin begins
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
a role he left
when he left the world