Lullaby

Our sun-cankered, frost-lacerated old bomb

has usurped a spot beside a Milky Way of faces.

Fingers tapping on the dash, I watch

pigeons filibuster on ledges outside floors

lit by cleaners; stare at the back of my hand

charting middle age’s sargassos; and finally you,

calling some last instructions

like streamers at a ship’s departure,

cross to lean reluctantly by the door.

All the adages I should have draped over your slender neck

— but didn’t, for fear they would hang so heavily —

are reduced to this:  “How will you find me

in the dark if all your friends have left the party?”

Your laughter: “Dad, I’d recognise those headlights anywhere!”

Cordite, February 2015