Marcel Aouizerate

Bonfire of the will

I have been told true stories when I reached middle age:
There is a line of work consisting in the execution of wills.
Yesterday I dined next to a quiet man who, at 28,
Had the job for three years straight before he knew better.

One time that he was advising an elderly on drawing his will,
Whereby everything was to go to his only son,
The old man confessed they had been estranged
After a terrible row. The son had moved to the country
Then became a farmer, the father had stayed on in the city,
Growing the estate.

He hadn't talked to his son in decades,
He didn't know his wife, nor did he know his children.
The attorney certainly suggested the old man
Would extend an hand and bury old hatchets,
'Putting your house in order', were the words he used.

Yet given the time and the fuss, this did not come to pass.
As fate has it, the old man died a year after having signed
His testament: he bequeathed a treasure to the son.

And then came the time to call him.
I am your father's attorney.
I don't know how to tell you this but
Your father passed away//Are you there? /
Yes, I heard, what are the next steps/
Well there's an inheritance. It's material/
How much? /A lot, we should meet to organize
Things/Yes, let's meet/Please come tomorrow/yes, yes.

In the dead of the night, the son drove his tractor
In a pale field of wheat awaiting harvest,
He poured a canister of petrol onto him,
And set himself ablaze. The fire patrol barely
Saved the house where the family was sleeping.

Submitted: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Topic of this poem: father


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