Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunday Poem

Last night I caught the boy I'd been
in fishnet and gutted him
on the government wharf
by the light of an oil lamp
hung from my dead father's hand. 
Above the dyke, over the road,
the town was just the same:
weeping willows, widows,
whale-stains on the cheesecloth walls
of the first houses
and an overwhelming sense
of a last breath being taken. 
The worst of it was
the ordinary blood
on the ordinary wood
and my father saying
as he gazed out to sea
"It's no good.
The companies won't pay.
They didn't pay for mine
and they won't pay for yours." 
I watched him through my mother's eyes
as he sighed and bent
to the stiffened body of our time
together not worth one red cent
to anyone and picked it up
and took his life and mine away again.
From Circa Nineteen Hundred and Grief (Gaspereau, 2014) by Tim Bowling

(Photo by Barry Pettinger)

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