son

YOUR GREY MITTENS

I wear
your grey
woollen mittens,
the ones

 

you can make
into gloves
by pulling over
the fingers

 

to make complete;
soft, thick,
but warm; neat.
I can sense you near

 

with them on;
an imaginary pulse
moves along
beside mine.

 

You felt the cold;
although didn't say
as such
or not

 

over much;
your hands
and fingers
seeking shelter

 

within the wool,
rubbing against
the fibre, skin
on softness,

 

warmth like
a kind of drug,
seeping in.
I wear your grey

 

woollen mittens,
my fingers fitting
where yours once did,
the feel of you

 

in the wool's soft memory;
the fibre’s hold,
keeping you warm,
my son,

 

keeping to warm
against the cold.
The mittens seem fresh;
not worn thin or aged

 

or coming unwoven
as some things do.
I wear your grey mittens,
have them close,

 

neat and touching.
I wish they were you.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

DO YOU RECALL?

Do you recall,
my son,
from your side
of the curtain

 

of death,
that Metallica CD
you bought me
at that record fair

 

some years back?
You fingered through
a number of CDs
in racks

 

looking for something
for yourself:
Radiohead
or R.E.M.

 

I forget which
or was it more
or both.
I was in

 

a heavy metal
frame of mind
that day;
counting the money

 

to match the choice.
I'll get it
for you
for your birthday,

 

you said.
I play it still,
the Metallica CD,
the thundering drums,

 

buzz saw guitars,
chugging bass,
and tough guy voice
over the turned up

 

loud burning lot.
I think of you
when playing it now;
your quiet nature,

 

soft spoken voice,
hungry-bear stance
about the room,
your own unique

 

chuckle of humour.
Do you remember,
my son,
the Zed Zeppelin

 

CD and DVD
you bought me
for my birthday
that final year?

 

you'll always be
a rocker,
you said,  
and those words

 

repeat softly,
like a summer breeze,
through the corridors,
of my mourning head.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio

YOUR BLACK WALLET

I still have
you rectangle
black leather wallet,
but it is empty now:

 

the money notes
banked in your account,
the cards sorted,
cut up and shredded,

 

the loose coins given
to your chosen charity.
How lonely it looks now
without you to handle;

 

the leather worn
at the edges
through use
you gave,

 

shiny black,
silent black,
unused now,
kept as a memory

 

to hold onto in days
of hurt like now
and years to come.
I remember

 

that last Saturday
in hospital,
you took out coins,
to buy bottles of water,

 

to quench your thirst
and help you pee.
The wallet looked full then,
bulging at the seams,

 

full of use and life,
held in your hands,
your fingers working
the coin zip.

 

Now it lays there
unused and thin,
your DNA
all over it,

 

worked in the seams,
the leather,
the small pocket
of the wallet.

 

I feel close to you
when I rub a thumb
or ageing finger
along its black

 

rectangle length,
the shiny worn leather,
bringing us, momentarily,
closer together.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio

YOUR LAST CARD.

I kept your last
birthday card to me;
tucked it between
books on my shelf,

 

not knowing then
it would be the last;
your small simple script
and name, artwork done,

 

received with all the rest
that day, last year.
I have taken it out
a few times now,

 

read the script over
and over, as if maybe,
more words
might appear,

 

than those before.
I hold it in my hands
and imagine where
your fingers touched,

 

where your pen
scribed the words,
and for that frozen moment
capture part of you again,

 

that feel, that ghostly smell,
thinking maybe
my fingers are, where
your fingers were,

 

your DNA mixing with mine,
mixing together
like good scotch, not wine.
I shall keep

 

your birthday card to me,
keep it safe, re-read
now and then,
pretend each year

 

it came from you,
anew, fresh written,
your fine small hand;
waiting each birthday

 

for it to land,
the birthday card
from my eldest son
(now dead), and when

 

my birthday comes around
once more, I shall take
the card out and read
with all the rest that came,

 

keeping you you always
in my heart and head,
with your small scribed,
loving name.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio

ROSE PLACED

We placed a rose
on the plot today,
where in a week or so,
your boxed ashes will lay.

 

Strange looking at the grass,
the ground damp from rain,
that fell the previous day;
unreal that this

 

is where your final
remains will lie,
in the casket,
underground

 

far from the eye.
It gutted me,
looking there,
the lump in the throat,

 

the eyes full,
slight wind
in the hedges near by,
wanting to pour out,

 

get the hurt out there,
pushed off somewhere.  
A lonesome rose,
lay on the plot;

 

all about other stones
and crosses and statues,
names and dates,
words of loss and pain,

 

other have felt
sometime along the years,
days, hours, ticking quietly
from grave to grave,

 

flowers placed,
plants in a pot,
and soon you will
lie there in your own

 

marked plot,
words chiselled
against the black,
but whatever

 

we have worded there,
can never
bring you back,
dear son,

 

can never
bring you back.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

YOUR BLACK COAT.

Your black,
heavy overcoat,
hangs from a hook
on the door.

 

It looks
haunted now,
a black phantom
of serge, with arms,
without hands,
unbuttoned,
holding a memory
of you inside its hold,
snuggled up within,
safe from the cold.

 

Your youngest brother
has inherited,
your black coat now,
he wears it higher,
being taller,
but it does not fit
so snug or hold him
so tight as it did you,
a short while ago.

 

He wore it
to your funeral,
buttoned up neat,
your heavy overcoat,
serge of black;
but he would gladly
have given to you,
if he could have
had you back.

 

I finger the sleeves,
smooth along
the black serge,
sense you there still,
in my mind's eye,
with black hat and tie
and black shades,
that Blues Brother gaze,
back in the good times,
my son, in your
good young days.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

HATING SATURDAYS.

I hate Saturdays
they remind me of you
and your last
minimal texts

 

blood in urine
just been sick
in phone text
you said

 

3 days later
you were dead
that long wait
we had

 

you unable
to urinate
drinking bottled water
breathing heavy

 

looking tired
you seeing
the doctor twice
no result

 

no end in sight
off to another hospital
another wait
blood tests

 

waiting
watching
the waiting room TV
nurses coming

 

and going
you wore your
Family Man tee-shirt
unaware you'd wear

 

no other
the dark jeans
trainers
the zip up

 

dark jumper
you silent
like a weary bear
eyes watching

 

waiting
then a nurse said
you had
to stay the night

 

so off we went
to take the bed
the last
on the short ward

 

the window showing
the dark evening sky
not knowing then
unaware

 

here was where
you'd begin to die
I hate Saturdays
they remind me

 

of you

at a low ebb
the unfolding drama
the same scenes

 

after the other

the questions
I continue to ask
inside my head

 

shaping up

the scenes
trying to avoid
the end

where you are dead.

View dadio's Full Portfolio

LIFT HIM HIGH.

Lift him high
to the sky

 

raise him
on your shoulders

 

rest his coffin
by your head

 

your brother's dead
carry me

 

he said
once in jest

 

raise him steady
off you go

 

hold firm
for tears will flow

 

his favoured song
Over the Rainbow

 

tones you in
we all follow

 

gutted empty
feeling hollow

 

full of sorrow

hand in hand

 

tearful eyes
hold him steady

 

sisters
brothers

 

keep him close
to heart and head

 

carry me
he once said

 

lay him gently
let his coffin lay

 

let him sleep
in God's rest

 

you have given all
you have done him proud

 

you have carried high
the best.

 

Sleep on
loving brother

 

dearest son
rest as you can

 

our close-knit kin
our young brave man.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio

IN DARK DREAMS.

In dark dreams
I walk again
those empty
hospital corridors

 

with their dull lights
and smell of disinfect
and death
in those dreams

 

I look for you again
my son
passing by
the blanks faces

 

of others
looking at
their eyes
for glimpses of life

 

or concern
or such  
as humans
sometimes have

 

I go by
room after room
pass porters
pushing

 

the occasional trolley
by the various
side wards
passing by

 

the bright lights
of hospital shops
in the dream
I am hoping

 

to find you once more
sitting there
on the bed
your back turned

 

your head lowered
but this time
I am hoping
for a healthier you

 

my son
not one so ill
so lost
in this dream

 

sunlight shines
through the window
of the small ward
a bird sings

 

not that dull curtain
the murmur
of voices
the usual limbo like

 

air about the place
this time my son
I wish to find you well
looking at me

 

with your own
familiar smile
not that haunted
expression

 

and tired eyes
that draw from me
a steam
of deep felt cries.

 

View dadio's Full Portfolio