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

how to stop holding on

A meditation on the simplest and most painful journey of my fathers looming mortality

It’s been a long night

tears of tiredness, tension maybe grief roll from my eyes and stop…

I’m too tired for that.

My Dad died last night.

And then he rose again,

not on the third day but on the second resuscitation

“So it’s no intubation right?”

right

Careful no eye contact, don’t want there to be any warmth here where happy stories are few and broken hearts are many,

but the coffee’s weak and free, hopeful. “Maam step outside.”

Earlier: “He thinks he has pneumonia”

“No maam, it’s just the fluid on his lungs”

“He’s not right, his skin feels clammy”

“That’s probably just because it’s warm in here”

unseeing bloodstained eyes fixed on the ceiling.

“Sir can you hear me?”

________________________________________________________

Code blue in room 111

 

 

Waiting for the when

Sunday morning

It’s not looking good

Daddy’s getting worse, they don’t know what’s wrong…

I have to hop a plane

flying out in the morning,

kids crying and me… crying for the lack of them, anxious for the lack of him.

Someone near me farting on the plane, fourteen hour flight.

Good lord really?

Really bad coffee, brown water, I must have landed in the grand ol US of A

Welcome back

Another two flights

I see the spot at the airport where he usually stands… there’s nobody there.

Empty spaces speak loudly,

Heart monitors and bipat machines speak loudest of all…

almost.

Smiles and laughter, I love you scribble with shaky hand.

And now we wait… we sit and we wait

and breathe until we don’t.