Come brave friend sing to me
Your breath sweet on my break
Hands like flowers for gentleness warm on my shattered shape
You touch the soft edges of my soul
With rivers of gold
To fill the cracks
To make me whole
Each piece I heal I glisten I grow
The Japanese art of mending broken pottery.
As pink as a kiss I kiss your cheek and kiss again, your aged hand in mine.
Frail and shrunken, bird-like bones visible in the last bed you now occupy.
I move slightly as the weak smell of death stirs my senses, oh my dearest dad, not long now I murmur.
Your teeth no longer chatting sit quietly out of reach knowing it is here, nothing more to be said.
I smooth your forehead with lovely tales and kind whispers of nothing, death is close, perhaps arriving as soon as today.
The peal-grey colour of distance climbs onto your face as if it had just walked through the door.
God is near. Death is listening between the dark spaces as it rattles its slow way.
Your heart shuts without needing my attention, then splendid silence so complete.
How frail all day without a stir while at your feet I weep, and now you are gone?
You wave me off as if stirring the air.
Your warmth still in my hand, your touch for both of us to keep.
With oversize Bible tucked under my arm and your heart the shape of love safe in my pocket, I stand smiling dumb.
How is this story supposed to end?
But you have ended it for me by leaving a trail of crumbs between the pages of your Good Book.
My father who died at 103.
In dedication to my father who died at 103, old and full of days.
— The End —