“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
You beseeched your dad; so did I.
“Burn and rave’, you exhorted, so did I.
‘Rage, rage, you pleaded; your plea went unheeded.
The night came.
You reminisced about your Christmas in Wales
Yes, you wanted to snowball the cats, wearing socks;
Shocked I was when Mrs. what was her name, shouted ‘Fire!’
What a liar, she was, shouting fire when there was none.
Mrs Prothero , was she ? And her son, Jim or was it Tim?
But it was great fun, your Christmas in Wales.
‘Bring out the tall tales’, you wrote, and I quote.
Ah, it was indeed a tall tale; a lovely song.
She shouted fire and beat the dinner gong.
What was wrong?
Was she crazy? Ah, my memory is hazy.
Your Welsh Christmas was choc-a bloc with presents,
slinking and sidling, spitting and snarling cats,
postmen, and uncles playing the fiddle, singing Drake’s Drum,
and one aunt merrily lacing her tea with rum!
‘Rage, rage,’ your words were a scream
yanked from the depth of an anguish, extreme.
But no poem, no plea can save a dad.
In hindsight, this I understand.
The night comes, nonetheless.
So does Christmas every year.
I quietly creep into the nostalgia
of your childhood Christmas in Wales
when my heart bewails the memory of another dad
too weak to put up a fight against the dying of the light.
The night comes with a painful intensity.
And Death’s dominion reigns, you see.