Tuesday Poem: Reading to My Father

Tom French was born in Kilkenny and works for Meath Library Service. He has published three collections with the Gallery Press and will read at Cork Poetry Fest

Tuesday Poem: Reading to My Father

Once, and only once, I read to him

in a car pulled over on the hard shoulder

on the Mountrath road, a stone’s throw

from The Wishing Tree, every word

of my brother’s diary, his suicide note,

the phrases in Dutch that meant ‘I will

soon be dead’, those marginal doodles,

little Golgothas, tiny crosses on stones.

While he smoked and couldn’t not hear,

locked in the car, I read to that last page

because this would be out last time together.

Neither of us knew what would happen next.

A son reads to his father. The world ends.

The son is driving. They are going nowhere.


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