Sunday, January 29, 2017

Rachael Mead #4

Adoption Day, 1978

I remember my cream polo-neck was itchy as hell
and wishing for a groovy velour one just like yours.

But in the end, it was fitting. Nothing about that day
was what I wanted. When the social worker asked me

we were all in the lounge, Mum perched on the edge
of the couch but I didn’t need to see her face

to know what I was meant to say.  Dad, you didn’t
say much. Start as you mean to continue, I guess. 

Your parenting was defined by what you didn’t do.
No praise. No affection. No Speech Nights or Sports Days.

Sometimes music lies in the space between the notes,
but even so, all my childhood triumphs seem like

wild dancing for rain that would never fall.  Now,
here you are in ICU, hooked up to a nest of tubes  

feeding you blood, oxygen, everything you need except
nicotine and alcohol.  And still, all I can hear is you

talking over Mum out of deafness or disrespect. Or both. 
I’m almost snapping my Sudoku pencil with one hand.

It’s the same one I used while you were in surgery,
all the numbers blurring as I remembered that day,

all those years ago, when you heard Mum ask
for a father for her child. When you answered.


  1. very powerful piece... feels very finished to me

    dancing for rain that would never fall
    --- great title!

    1. Thanks Kit and great advice about the title (always a source of head-scratching).

  2. So typical of the father, not really present, so sad.

  3. Wow! Wonderful! So efficient!Don't change anything! it's perfect as it is!

    1. Thanks so much Beatrice - I'm constantly in awe of your work so this means a great deal!

  4. Fantastic poem. So powerful, and some great lines in there.