overview published poems unpublished poems

The World Tilted

The world tilted, Dad,
the moment your clattering breath
stopped, one whole minute,
started again, then stopped.
And when we woke Mother up, and she saw you
and cried she wouldn't believe it, no, she would not.
And as I kept moving back into
that room - drawn by what?
a need to imprint you on my mind
but each time finding you less you,
your body sunk in on itself,
to fill the empty space where still
I looked for you.
And when the hospice nurse came
and cut off the hospital tag,
then slowly pulled off the watch
you had worn for twenty years,
and which, during those last days
you had checked and rechecked
as if to wonder: was it time yet?
or did time still move forward and you with it?
And are you now in some place
where watches are non-sequiturs?
where our day to dayness
is like a blink, a whisper, a flower you can light upon
with a thought, in a dream,
or in the space next to my shoulder
that longs for your hand?
And can you speak to me from there?
Will you speak to me from there?
So your absence does not feel like such a wrong?
Or like a question
into which all my answers fall.