Poem: Faded

My head would rest on the down-filled 

Pillow in my boyhood bedroom 

In the dusk stillness of the farmstead, out 

of the frosted windows lived twilight tints 

Flecked with shimmering milky glints. 

Those solid-black ravens approach their Oak. 

 

The comfortable click of the lock. Father. 

An amber light spills underneath my doorway. 

A gentle sneeze in a familiar hoarse voice brings 

A smile to my face, and somehow a comfortable heat inside. 

His muscled calves create heavy thuds until 

Snug silence settles again. 

 

Eleven hour days spent harvesting the towering bushels, 

Father’s tough callused hands like dried leather 

Grasping the long shaft of his spade. 

The gentle sun through the clouds observing his broad 

Back heaving in the field, listening to 

The meaningless chatter of us youngsters. 

 

Now. I lie stiff on the morbid cold sheets 

Mind benumbed as if buried in the worn turf. 

My unsoiled nails washing and wiping and scratching away 

The saltwater forming furrows in my faded cheeks. 

My stale unwashed skin like Father’s had been 

Encased by clean cotton clothes. 

 

In first light around 5 o’clock, Father would 

shut the heavy wooden door behind him. 

I await longer, for sleep to come 

With the comfort I need gone. 

His heavy boots fading in my memory – 

We all return to the land in the end.

 

By Helen (DPI)

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