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.