Looking back at the photographs the distance was obvious
the silence, captured, silently monstrous.
Kate did not care, she chose not to look
she buried herself in her art and her books.
It was cold when he fell in the yard on the lane
the plaster cast spattered in swear words and names.
He kept it at first from his workmates and boss
but for her he displayed like a peacock his loss.
Redundancy followed sooner than thought,
an excuse for his boss to save even more costs.
The time at first welcome soon squandered in depression
drinking once social became a solitary passion.
The beards got longer and the jumpers more derelict
he rose from his bed only to drink and reminisce;
morbid ramblings no child should endure
Kate couldn’t see; she just wanted him cured.
his comments dismissive and cruel
yet she longed for his company
on her lonely walks to school.
He shouted her down, tore paintings in half
but she gathered them up and hid them from harm
first, the pictures filled a box
and the box became a chest
it needed to grow to keep all he rejected.
Rolling eyes and vacant stares
painting disappeared in waves;
Then by chance direction changed
a doll was sculptured
features formed defined by nurture
every layer a covered scar
a hurtful word from behind a door, ajar.
She layered her anger thick with glue
and expressed in silence what she might do;
She talked it listened
as every failure proved addition
she found herself free in this one way conversation.
Prolific she strived
he noticed her output
and no matter his comment
She listened as her picture spoke
volumes to her father
he listened as she spoke
of the doll getting larger;
absorbing her worries in layered conversation
so the doll grew heavy
her own burden lifted.
Slowly Kate grew
and the doll listened quietly
she passed it onto her father
who aged it considerably
but he never returned from his demons on the cliff
he left only a note
that some may have cherished
it didn’t explain much just rambling self pity
and how he had abandoned his dreams
for the darkness of reality.
He wrote he was sorry and she read the lines over
but it didn’t seem to help as the funeral drew closer
Bright sunny skies held the lightest of rain
the doll by her side Kate stood by his grave
She listened politely
as few mourned his passing
but what did they know
they did not understand him.
As the service concluded
soil offerings were gathered
she looked at the things that drew her close to her father
The doll in her pocket meant more than the letter
so she ripped it to shreds and it disappeared with the weather.
Some fragments fell and buried with the casket
others limped away in puddles they rested.
The letter was gone,
his life and excuses gone with it
and the doll in her pocket felt lighter,
© Copyright D. Archer October 2011