Sheena Blackhall

Gold Star - 6,740 Points (18/8/1947 / Aberdeen)

Past Tense For My Father - Poem by Sheena Blackhall

The phone was a meat hook.
I hung from the cold receiver.
Heavy news dripped grief in my cupped ear.

Five hours cold in his bed, my father lay tight-lipped.
The morning paper sat in its untouched folds.
Coals on the fire had crumbled into rust.

The bed linen beneath him was unstained.
Wood beetles gnawed the floorboards into dust.
Three suits, four ties, eight shoes
Whose musty mouths gaped wide
Black holes of silence.

Half moons beneath his nails
Began their dark eclipse.

It was too cold for keening.
His pillow, smelt of leather, sweat and age
I held it close as skin, a final gleaning.

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Poem Submitted: Sunday, February 7, 2010

Poem Edited: Sunday, February 7, 2010

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