Poem To My Dad On The Day That He Died

Me and My DadMe and My Dad

I was alone, quite quite alone
When I heard that you were dead,
A disembodied voice, a tape,
“Your father died at five,” it said.

You were alone with no-one there
When you let go of life and died,
We shared a bond of loneliness,
You went while I remained. I cried.

Everyone was too distraught
To guess how painful it would be
To hear an ansafone announce
Your death so very far from me.

“They were never close,” They say
To rationalise their thoughtlessness,
“She’s Tough,” they add. How very true.
Your legacy was willfulness.

We were as close as time and space,
As distant as proximity,
As far apart as circumstance,
But close as close as genes can be.

We both agreed, there is no God,
No spirit and no after life,
Our Atheist contempt for death
Meant we both made the best of life.

Now you are dead, there’s nothing left
Save grief and loss and memory,
But while there’s nothing left of you
Much of you remains in me.

Each time I see a looking glass
Reflected is your photo-fit,
I have your wicked sense of fun,
Your sarcasm, your rapier wit.

I hold the same contempt for fools
We never troubled to disguise,
The same despair of ignorance
And self-destructive scorn of lies.

I carry with me your disdain
For status, snobbery and wealth,
And suicidal joie de vivre
That forfeits power, rank and health

Like you, I can encapsulate
Myself within myself, exclude
Others from my intellectual,
Solitary interlude.

Impatient and irascible,
Sometimes aggressive, loyal too,
Sensitive and Passionate,
All parts of me that came from you.

Today you died and nothing’s left
But bloodless flesh and lifeless bone,
A heart that failed, a life that’s lost,
A message on my ansafone.

I never wanted you to die,
I wanted you to live, for me,
But now that you are dead and gone,
The best of you lives on, in me.

©Lynne Joyce, 21-2-1996