Today I saw my Dad (if I can find words)

He was hot, dirty and bloody and barrelling back to his camp,
Leaving a battalion of fresh young boys behind him, they weren’t moving anymore.
He had murder in his eyes and fire in his breath

as he searched for a man soon to have appreciation for the consequences of his decisions,

In a tropical paradise, de-evolved.

I saw my Dad today,

He was burning down the road by the river in his white mustang,

Pressed a cigarette charred almost all the way down to his lips,

while the hard sweet sounds of a steel string guitar were blared through the stereo,

wrapped itself in smoke and crawled out the window

lingering by the side of the road long after the car had disappeared.

 

I saw my Dad today,

He was sitting at the bedside of an old neighbour that he heard was in hospital,

She was feeling poorly and telling him of the lives and happenings of everyone in her life,

He was asking her how’s her bills going?

She said she didn’t know how she was gonna pay her rent,

He said don’t worry about it… “I’ll take care of it.”

 

I saw my Dad today

He was hot, dirty and bloody and barrelling back to his camp,

Leaving a battalion of fresh young boys behind him, they weren’t moving anymore.

He had murder in his eyes and fire in his breath

as he searched for a man soon to have appreciation for the consequences of his decisions,

In a tropical paradise, de-evolved.

 

Today I saw my Dad

He was sitting in the middle of a brown lounge

a cigarette was burned off in his fingers

a shot mug of whisky sat on the crowded coffee table in front of him,

His eyes were squinted shut, the sound he made was nothing but a wheeze

as his round shoulder shook with laughter and tears squeezed out and ran down his face.

 

Today I saw my Dad,

He was thin, bony and changed,

His eyes lit up as I walked in the room,

and I love yous were spoken without voice from behind a mask

written in his eyes, and in shaky hand on a piece of scrap-paper

along with water, popsicle, and turn over.

 

 

Today I saw a man in a box, but I didn’t see my Dad.

 

I see my Dad

In a million faces including mine,

he is driving, laughing, complaining, he is admiring that thick girl’s ass,

he is scattered in pieces that number immense,

and rests in my head in my heart

in smiles, laughter and tears.

Christina Donoghue 19/06/2017

The pause between the breaths

The elliptical printed hospital gown that is loosely draped around my fathers body that is emaciated from the organs who have decided to fail him, long after he failed them.

I’m sitting in a hospital room. The walls are white and stark with a carefully measured antique blue feature wall that compliments the faux wood cupboard and floors, not too mention matches perfectly the elliptical printed hospital gown that is loosely draped around my fathers body, which is emaciated due to the organs who have decided to fail him, long after he failed them.

The room is loud with the sound of an Italian folk song coming from the TV (The Godfather is playing), the compressor for the bariatric mattress and the bi-pat machine that mimics breathing and pushes my fathers chest up and down, doing more than we can to keep him alive.

Earlier today my step-mother looked at me, “They don’t know,” she said, “they don’t know that your father is not an ordinary man.” I turn my head to look at him—it appears that all evidence is to the contrary.

So we spend hours with tearless faces staring at small screens with digits on them that swap and change like watching keno, but the cash prize is life or death. I watch the zig-zag lines move up and down for so long that even the anomalies become a pattern, except when there is a pause, and a flat line, and for a moment you wonder if this is it.

Later sitting beside this man’s bed and looking into his gluey eyes that are almost closed but still see me for a moment. The reality of flying out in two day is hitting me hard, knowing that I will never see my Dad in this lifetime again.. there is nothing that  prepares you for that.