Friday 26 May 2017

'Father' - another poem by Andy Fierens


the table was laid out for two
the meat was tender
when there was a knock

who’s there? my wife said
while she looked away
and washed her hands

i opened the door

there were many of them
as far as the horizon
they filled the landscape

i knew who they were
although i’d never seen them before

their looks were stern

what have you done?
they ask in unison

who is it? my wife called out
the meat was ready
rare and soft

in front of me stood the seed
that i had carelessly spilt
since my youth

all the seed that had
ever flowed from me
it had germinated into grain
and come back to me

they were rough and transparent
incomplete, since they lacked
a female component

father, what is it you have done?
they asked once more

who is it? my wife called out
i pulled the door some more towards me
transfixed i looked at it
that restless sperm of mine

It’s complicated, i told them
for i was a man and a coward

blushing i thought of the life
that has slipped through my fingers

nameless and naked
they asked
a third time why

i gave a deep swallow
it didn’t help

in veils of mist i then saw
how they started to become blurred

i went on standing there till i was sure
that all traces had been erased

then i went inside
and closed the curtains

who was it? my wife asked
she cut the flesh
that was pink

i chewed far too long
and told her it was tasty
so tender and soft

my wife did not notice my suffering
she had her own cross to bear

that night while she slept
i tossed and turned
and sighed deeply

dejectedly i stood up
and counted the blisters
on my hands

when i pricked them with a needle
they seemed to be full of tears

it was the work of many years

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