Brian Boswell 1938 - 1994
for my Dad
Did you know what it was, when your chest first tightened?
When the bands of steel first gripped? Were you frightened
by the chain of events being unleashed - the consequences?
Did you wish you’d made the time to mend your fences?
Did you want to run? Did you long to hide?
Was there a moment of truth? Was there time for denial?
As the world spun around you in the wintry dark
did you wonder whether you’d made your mark?
Did shrapnel from the genetic bomb that killed your father
leave a scar on you? Perhaps you’d rather
he’d died a young man's death,
not a lingering one, as he fought his own heart for every jagged breath.
Could you have known then what was meant for you?
Or that in due course I'd be wounded too?
Were you haunted by things you’d started
but would never finish? Who’d have thought that, having parted,
I’d be the one to repair your fences?
As I live with your absence in the shade of the consequences
of a hidden disease, I’m stronger and younger than you were, but my heart feels
like lead, and the anticipation is just as real
as it must have been to you. I think of how little
I knew you, and I wonder how much I’ve forgotten.
Did you know how much better a man you were than I could ever be?
Was it preordained that I should achieve my best too late for you to see?
And, I wonder, how soon will my presence diminish?
Are we simply beginnings for others to finish?
Once again much gratitude to Gill Learner for skillful editing suggestions
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