Torch

My father’s omlette-toast was often burned
when he treated me with breakfast now and then
his chai was milky-sugared three times over,
his hands shook, later, when I broke my arm, scribing 20 pages of my writing –
The walks we took often had no purpose,
Our talks on life sometimes turned into monologues;
Since then, his heart’s been drained of life’s essential force, that zestful energy when he was young –
Like him, I have mastered feelings fast and bury all
to make room for woman’s hearty sacrifice,
(a word in our house, that’s staged with renewal and religion)
The broken cd in the background, his frail words last night,
Looks like you’ll miss me when I’m gone,
are old reminders that some seem to carry the torch, others serve as the light –
Such roles are seldom traded in a world where only facts are real;
My father’s treats and gifts were unexpected,
his silent ways so jovial to me,
the snow boots on a random school day morning,
his German song-book and random post-cards to Fayetteville,
all signs that I was someone in his eyes.
But when age comes, and home’s front is dark and lonely,
his torch from past lights all, as though I’m that same child from ages past,
expecting all his unexpected ways of love.
 

Todays poetry contest entry was written by Sophie.

 

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