You fly back home, sit at the kitchen table
with the wake cake. The crumbs inside the foil.
Thirty years have passed and you are able
only to stare outside. You watch him toil
in the garden, turn the frozen soil.
You open up his lager, pick the label,
look at the food that in three days will spoil,
wonder if there is meaning to the fable.
He rests the rusty shovel by the window.
His heavy breath is warm and live and rising.
He smiles to you. You feel the winter wind blow
through the panes. You look down at the icing.
He’s speaking now beyond the stars. You listen.
You are ten years old and forever his son.
first published in The Innisfree Poetry Journal, September 2007