Ouija Board

Ouija Board

 

Australian autumn gum trees don’t lose their colour

perhaps they knew you or saw your stubbornness

about letting go and will hold in all that green like a breath

I don’t know, I’ve never asked them or you but sat

in awe at your refusal to cave in to cancer chipping

away at you like a sphinx nose, turning yellow in your last days

as your liver struggled to keep up with your bull-headed

grip on life. You fell eventually like a leaf falls

I refused to see your last breath, I said my goodbyes

like a child with hopes of Jesus miracles

but I knew. I imagine you in the garden of lost souls

snubbing the afterlife to haunt the grave attendants about their

improper manual handling skills or poor personal presentation

 

Gum trees shed their bark as they grow and I have studied

all I can from your diaries but read again just to be sure

postcards from Denmark and short raw poems

there was an admirer but he lost out to our grandfather

because he was too shy to ask you for a date

I think my siblings would be different, if you were

still here. I think you would be proud of  Shaela’s painting

and Willow’s flair for mechanics. Maybe Joseph wouldn’t

drink so much. Perhaps you would share your poems with me

and I wouldn’t have to steal them from the family records

hiding them in borrowed books and reciting them like a spell.

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