Poetry: Meet My Father | clivejames.com
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Meet My Father

Meet my father, who refuses food —
pecks at it like a bird or not at all —
the beard disguising his thin cheeks.
This, for a man whose appetite was legend,
hoovering up the scraps his daughters couldn’t eat.

The dustbin man, we joked.
And here he is, trailing his fork
through food we’ve laboured to make soft,
delicious, sweet. Too salty, or too tough,
it tastes of nothing, makes him choke,
he keeps insisting, stubbornly.
In truth, the logic’s clear. His very life
is bitter and the spice it lacks is hope.
He wants to stop. Why do we keep on
spooning dust and ashes down his throat?