dad came back (again)

I woke from dreams that were dark and troubled / the glass of water on the bedside table bubbled / the ceiling buckled / there was a roaring of resonant cursing & swearing / the sound of the spacetime continuum tearing / then dad dropped through in a ghastly heap / and struggled back up on his bony feet

Alright Jim? he said with fake insouciance
sorry to be such a ghostly nuisance
but these poems about me are highly dubious

Sorry Dad I said. Well, I do my best
I’m grateful for the feelings you’ve expressed
I was only exploring ideas of inheritance
I can leave you out if that’s your preference

He adjusted his shroud and scratched his pate
his ribs and hips in a terrible state
but twenty years’ buried and you never look great

Wait, he said. I don’t want to sound mean
I just don’t get this whole poetry scene
in fact any kinda writing I’ve never been keen

That’s true, I said, and reading between the lines
you hated fiction but trusted The Times
you always thought literature a bit suspicious
and only read gardening books we got you at Christmas

Come on, though, Jim, he said, I did you a favour
when I took those poems you wrote as a teenager
and got them typed up by a colleague or whatever

Yes! I said. I remember! It’s all coming back
I’d written a collection about insects and that
‘miniature dinosaurs of a macabre imagination’
or some such bullshit gothic creation

Dad suddenly looked a little bit guilty
he said (unironically) please don’t kill me
but I did it to impress a temp called Julie

I don’t mind, I said, I was thrilled all the same
to have something finished and bound in my name
I’ve been chasing that particular dream ever since
it’s just the publishers I’ve got to convince

Anyway, said Dad, rising to go
I just thought I’d drop by and let you know
you should give all those ghost dad poems the elbow

I’m not promising anything, Dad, I said
as he hovered prophetically over the bed
Fathers and sons are fertile topics
and ghosts are fun, so screw the optics

2 thoughts on “dad came back (again)

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