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Janice Healey

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology


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Catching the Tune

for Dad

i.

little by little
he lost the tune
the melody of himself
knees bony through flapping trousers

he totters
leaning on me as I did once on him
trusting
trusting

new room familiar mementos
face creased with anxiety
I can’t afford…
we wait to reassure him
              can’t afford…any more scandals

an old woman hovers
outside the bedroom door
gives him a song sheet
an introduction

they sing here
without a key
struggling through old tunes as new

a fall
hip and wrist flip
            …he breaks through
the thin shell of independence

ii

I warm to see him
outside in the sun
            …got there by myself
            on the walking frame

his bones
remember
remember the tune
where is the scandal in that?

fumbling fingers
  dance
with
             birthday chocolate wrappers
socks leave them for dead

iii

late
too late
I place a grandson’s drawing
in his waxen hand

crayoned apple
banana and chips
food for the long journey

notes hang
from the last post
waiting
weighty

we caught the tune




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Last updated 22 April, 2005