You loved watching football and found joy in the obituaries;
the last lines of life after it had been lost. You liked watching
the news and thrived while washing the car, in the driveway,
on a Saturday and maybe again on a Sunday after handing
the missal out at mass, rubbing and scrubbing over and over
and over as if the soap and suds might erase the truth
of everything you couldn’t clean off your own skin, no matter
how hard you tried.

You liked washing the car and watching the news and watching
the neighbours from the inside looking out and you found joy
in the papers; in the trials and trivial things that happened before
they posted your obituary and so, I wondered, later, how you felt
about your own.

I was away at the time and so never opened the black and white
paper that imprinted on your fingertips to see if it told the truth
or had been washed clean of who it was you never wanted to be.


Al words by Damien B. Donnelly. Photo of myself and my father in Cork around 1976

Happy Father’s Day to all the Fathers out there. Being a parent does not come with a guide book and for a child, that takes a long time to understand. 

Published by deuxiemepeau

Published poet, writer, baker and former fashion maker, with footprints in Paris, London and Amsterdam but currently back home in Dublin with sights aimed at leaving a mark on the West coast one clear fine day...


    1. Thank you Paula. My father died back in 2001 and we had been apart for a lot of years before that but it’s only now that I’m beginning to understand him. Hope you are well 💚☘️

  1. I was lucky to reach an understanding about/with my father before he died. Not so lucky with my mother. I am still learning about both of them. (K)

    1. The older we get the more of an onion I realise we are. I never got this as a kid- black and white, yes or no, good or bad- they were all so clear. Now, not at all

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