The Cemetery of Times Past
Like a sparrow, my father’s hand weighs nothing in mine, but it feels enough. The rhythmic wheeze of the ventilator is an enchantress and soon we are walking down the brick lanes of my childhood. Lime-washed houses rise like wraiths from the belly of winter fog, a band of urchins bend over their game of glass-marbles and a spotted mongrel doubles up to gnaw an itch.
In this new world that we build together by his hospital bed, he allows me to hold on to the cat-of-seven-colours and fawns over a painting where free-will crayons have spilled outside the lines. He even teaches me how to ride a unicycle and pull a pink rabbit out of a frayed hat. In my new memories, I no longer have angry welts across my back and arms, when I lie to him for the first time. When I lie. When I.
ashes in an urn . . .
the aimless drift
of an empty poly-bag