Letting go by Bill West

Dad died
and left things that spoke
to his life.

   

Brushes canvas and paint
quills and copybooks
chisels fluters and sweeps.

   

My hoard of these treasures filled our house and left
no room for me.

   

He's gone
you said
these things, no longer his.

   

I stored them away
paintings diaries histories
high in the attic.

   

Years passed
before I climbed the attic stair.
Mice had made nests
raised young
and died.

   

While wind and rain and leaves
blew in decay and spiders' webs
wound round that
melted and stained
putrefaction.

   

Small catechisms that
said he was truly
dead.

The Linnet's Wings, Portnashanagan, Corkaree, Mullingar, Co., Westmeath, ROI