This is written for my dad, who passed away at 51, two years ago today.
Last Father’s Day
They used to be big, strong hands,
Now they’re wasted, bony and skinny.
Hairy, gnarled knuckles,
with freckles all over,
Wide, flat nails stained by nicotine.
The skin yellows as his body fails.
They shake as he rolls a cigarette,
perhaps the last one.
In his smoky living room that now
smells of medicine and sickness.
Liquid morphine is sticky on the table top.
“Dad, why did it have to be so quick?”
“It’s not that quick.
Packet fags are faster, I guess,
but I prefer roll-ups.”