Monday, 6 April 2015

Rifbjerg RIP

my father watered the dead

my father watered the dead
with a grey watering can
I sat behind on the bike
he had his rake with him
but we borrowed the can

when it was hot
he hung up his jacket
the hydrant was further off
and had the same colour as the can
it whistled a little bit
while the water was turned on

his movements were controlled
and calm as if he was undertaking
something quite natural
which is how I experienced it
how else

while he pottered around fixing things
with his tall body
and the implements
I saw the water seeping through the soil
running down the cheeks
of my grandpa and grandma
and little uncle Otto
who died young of inflammation of the middle ear

strangest of all were the steel cones for
putting flowers in
we didn’t use them
but at the doctor’s and the hospital
I’d tried them in my ear
I don’t know
what you could see in there
but it scratched and hurt

nothing else linked me to uncle Otto
and my father would never
conceive of putting cut flowers
in tin fingerstalls for the dead

he planted watered and raked
and the sound of the rake in the gravel
was like the sound of the water
that ran and ran and gushed from
the can
and ran
like rain over all the dead in the ground

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