Friday, 14 October 2016

poetry 2016 / 106

Falling Ash

The hair on his hands never turned grey
but stayed red as a fox
though his widow's peak grew in
and his hair silvered beneath the brylcreme.
The freckles joined up;
a gardening tan from working his garden,
tending broccoli, cabbage, potatoes
(they were never quite free of the blight)
and pulling bones from the sad spot
beneath the lilac tree.
His hands began to shake from disease
yellow fingernails tipped with soil
as he spilled his tea over the kitchen cupboard
and wished he could join our mother.

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