Tears & memories: a birthday poem

Crying is fullness and emptiness. The welling up of crying, the ‘filling up’ erupts within a closing down of the world – my world– Paul McGinley, 2008, p220.

Today is my Dad’s birthday, and a very special one it would have been for him. I plan to spend the day as close to our memories as I can. A dark cloud of grief has descended, enveloping my being. I miss him. I need him. I have tried to embrace the tears which flooded in thick and fast yesterday, make sense of their intensity, the only way I can, through writing.  Trace through to the meaning of it all. What tears really shed.

You had to leave,

Unbind your fingers from my hand,

Extinguish the light in your eyes,

Remove the warmth of embrace,

Call time on the dance,

Break the shelter of protection.

You had to leave,

Cut the bonds,

Steal gravity from certitude,

Afront me with mortality,

Cement absence over presence,

Plant eternal melancholy.

I miss your eyes, your hands, your chat,

My eyes burn,

Fill with water,

Fresh spikey inhale of pain,

Try to see through the photograph,

to the sparkle and the genuine lines,

Make peace with an imaginary friend,

fashioned from memories and shared meanings.

Choked up,

Rawness reopened,

Tears spill,

Throbbing weighted temples,

An unspoken language of the empty space,

I wonder at the utility of the water I can’t retain.

What do my tears offer?

A measure in units of meaning?

From where do they hail?

The corridors of memory, or direct from the soul?

Why do I cry, for me or for you?

Exposing secrets of the senses…

meaning that may never fully unfold.

It seems I have no will. It pains to cry,

Yet my eyes, my heart, my soul, are authentically bound,

bypassing logic.

I wonder, tears leak essence that thirstily drunk on our relation.

Tears laced with purpose,

They do not wash away, but reveal.

Spilled wrenched guts on the floor.

Look, see the love, the absence, the loss,

they are real, they remain. 

The tears…unseen, unheard, unanswered.

An abode all the same,

for you.


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