This poem is about my father who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2015. He died within 6 weeks of his diagnosis. After announcing his condition through email, he refused to see anyone for two whole weeks. He was a very independent and proud man who wanted to take care of business before letting people in. This poem captures the last moments I had with him and how I’ve tried to negotiate my relationship with him over the years, especially towards the end of his life, and even in the here and now.
I remember it well,Trailing behind youSuffocating inThe heat and stench,As slopping waterMingled with the bloodOf freshly gutted fishSplashed against myFlip-flops andOnto my feet and ankles I hated it,Like a fish out of water,I languished in the recessesWhile you bargained like a magpieWith the feisty womenAnd crusty old menBehind the standsOf fresh meat and vegetables You […]
“Do you regret marrying Dad”I ventureWondering if she knowsWhy I ask “No, I don’t regret it” There is a pregnant pauseA naked silence “Why not?”I ask, undeterred “I don’t believe in the word regret” she offers Meanwhile,My brain is busy decodingwhat she’s saying “It doesn’t matter what you believe, but the wordexists mom”I mutter in […]