Is That You Dad ?

You know dad, that day when you were not around
I was filled with dread .
Pinioned to the bed
By four arms from the left four from the right.
Ah, the night was not at all bright
It was dark like a chocolate cookie
And the moon scary and spooky.
Grotesque faces
With mammoth sideburns
Holding lanterns
In hirsute hands, cackled
While I on the bed lay shackled.

This was five days after you died
Oh, how I had cried.
Would you have raged against the dying light
And not gone gentle into that good night
Had you but known?
But alas, now you had flown.
But hadn’t a clairvoyant
In a voice buoyant
Sitting in our drawing room on the cushioned settee
Told you , you would live to be eighty?

Ah, is that you, sitting hunched over your study table
Evaluating answer sheets
And preparing your lecture on Keats?
While the woman in white looks on
Great expectations stare ?
And the moonstone shines
With a mysterious air?
Ah, it is not fair.

In this bibliophilic confusion
There is a sad profusion
Of memories.
Did I just catch a glimpse of you
Jumping over the boundary wall
Ah , what if you had had a fall
With the tennis racket clutched in your hand?
And under the moonlit sky
Standing mighty and high
Reciting the owl and the pussy cat in your voice grand?

With a hat on your head
Your trousers’ ends securely clipped
To the university, on you cycle you had ventured out
Many a time clearing my niggling doubt.
Ah, your mouth watering pancakes slathered
With chocolate syrup.
Your handsome face wreathed in smiles
While the tea became cold in your tea cup
And mom looked on warmly.

Who was it speaking in that powerful baritone?
I felt a sudden chill in every bone.
A hand feathery in its softness
On my forehead did press .
“Sweet my child,my magpie robin I am here for thee
And will live for thee .”

And you did live for me
In me
Around me
Inside me .
As promised that day
Dad, you never left
And I never felt lost
Or bereft.

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