Instructions for lost Father’s


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Photo by slon_dot_pics on

When I was born the blood of my mother glued me into your hands

and the swirl of your fingerprints became our bloom and thorny maze

for two days I was clay in your hands and each tear shaped us as one

your fucked-up lungs were my lullaby and I heard Indians wail in you.


Sons know early that the colour of their father’s eyes are our first sky

If you look closely those black pupils are rosary beads in a splash of thorns

Sons know early how to sense if their makers were made for them

I was lucky because he always pressed me into his bones like a thistle into chapters.


When my grandfather was born, moon pulled tide back so far that a whale was marooned.

gulls turned it white and waited for the breaths to pass like a still brook.

I like to think inside the sea was a whale chorus willing it back

I like to think that my grandfather grew poison to protect us.


Sons know too late that they’re made by everything which unmade their father.

A mother will look back on a journey and know footprints are maps and treasures,

She will carry her children through fog and find her way to a new clearing,

The father and son remain lost in each other and yet. these are the very instructions home.

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Photo by slon_dot_pics on

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