Home > Short Shorts > A father, cradling his firstborn, reflects on his previous murders

A father, cradling his firstborn, reflects on his previous murders

August 9, 2006

Where are my other daughters or sons?
I ask as if I, learning of them, of those grains
Waiting for my arms and lips and heart, didn’t turn
My heart from them, and instead rushed here and there,
Even to cold rooms in buildings named (can you believe?)
After saints, to plead for freedom from them. Please!
You can save us!
But they are always there,
These ghosts; they have followed me everywhere
Ever since, taking me to mirrors, showing me to myself.
My sweet darling, here into my once red hands
I’m weeping for love of you, and them.

by mikey

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  1. Ivy
    August 9, 2006 at 3:49 pm

    This is amazing–an affecting piece.

  2. August 9, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Powerful – the father’s perspective.

  3. August 11, 2006 at 8:50 am

    “…those grains
    Waiting for my arms and lips and heart”

    This spoke to me strongly; I know something of those ghosts. Thanks for giving us your words.

  4. August 13, 2006 at 2:43 am

    Ivy, Marja-Leena, Beth – thanks for the welcome and the encouragement.

  5. August 13, 2006 at 6:35 am

    Truly a powerful, resonating poem. What it’s “about” just hovers around the edges, escaping definition, but that’s part of the draw. A strong, uneasy image, resisting instant interpretation. Somehow it makes me think of some of Francis Bacon’s paintings but with affection replacing cruelty.

  6. August 13, 2006 at 4:13 pm

    Wonderful, disturbing, heartbreaking and full of love.

  7. August 13, 2006 at 4:37 pm

    Wow, Natalie, the Francis Bacon comparison is an eerie one! I know what you mean. For me, the poem first brought to mind Greek tragedy – but your idea brings it so completely into our times – which says just how universal and timeless is the thread that mikey has tapped.

  8. August 18, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    This is a request to reprint Mikey’s poem in the “Outstanding Blogs” section of my website. Thank you.

  9. August 18, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    Wendy, thanks, yes, please do.

  10. mikey
    August 18, 2006 at 5:13 pm

    Natalie, Tournesol and Beth – thanks for the feedback. Mmm, Bacon, I’ll have a closer look at him when I’m next in the Tate Modern.

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