Dear Annie…

I’m sorry for being drunk at the funeral.

No excuses

It was an arms-in-the-air mistake

But no father should be burying his child.

Sixteen nights straight

Staying awake on tepid hospital coffee

Knowing every second might be her last

Not wanting to miss a moment

Even as her body turned Dickens’ grey

And the nurses ran in in slow motion

Shouting silently

I could swear I saw the spirit leave the body.

The wake commotion.

Your father who was never there

Saying she could have been saved

If I had just been at home and cared more.

“Leave it! It’s not worth it!”

Old man on the village hall floor

Dabbing his nose

As they held me back

I swear he was smiling.

After that debacle

I was not welcome at your funeral

I ‘was not capable’ of arrangements

And then I was not invited

Strange how ‘families’ turn.

No one can stop me now though

Sitting by your stone in the pouring rain

Walkers passing might think they were tears

But Jesus, I wish I could cry.

I wish I could still feel.