Dad’s Farewell


The day dank dawns and drizzle drips.
Lank-branched leaves hold waiting drops
To splash an eye, a cheek, my lips.
Grey heaven cries and cannot stop.

I walk the last few yards to … Dad
Heart braced, alone I take the door
And standing there, his other lad,
I push the bell and wait some more.

The minutes pass till brisk strides close
On clicky floor. They’re getting near.
A lemon scent, clean in my nose,
She stands face stiff, dark eyes show fear.

We didn’t know you’d want to view …
Your brother said nobody’s choice …
His face is unprepared for you …
I say, I choose … She hears my voice.

Young nurse assigned, we walk wet stone
An outside path, down to a door.
Stout oak hides chilling flesh and bone,
I jump a puddle to cold floor.

Hydraulic trolley lifts to place
The cool and stiffened, recent passed.
She pumps the stretcher to Dad’s space
And now I’m here with him at last.

She pulls him from his icy fridge
Wrapped in pristine sheeting white
From the top drawer, then he falls
Hydraulic lock not set aright.

I catch Dad under my right arm
Instruct the nurse: Secure the switch!
And gently hold my father dear
To find his place. Her young lips twitch.

Together there we load the chassis.
Once more Dad rests. I softly sigh.
I calm the fearful, bright-eyed lassie.
There’s no intent, I soothe hands high.

Dad’s wrapp’d in cloth. She grabs the tape.
How much do you want to see?
I stand a moment mouth agape.
Just his face is good for me.

And now, I’d like to be alone.
Last time with Dad, I stroke his face
Cold, dead, stiff he’s truly gone.
My tears fall hot and shirt-bound race.

A cuff-wipe dries wet eyes, so fond
And then the humour flows – I smile
And hear Dad’s laughter from beyond,
There in the cold we smirk a while.

And from that sad day then to now
The loss sits easy in my heart,
The day I held Pop, stroked his brow
Our hearts connected, not apart.

Copyright Mac Logan

Mac Logan is a Scottish Poet & Author. His works are available here.