Our parents grow old in secret

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Sometimes in my Father’s frown lines I see lines of a poem written in secret

and I think of pulling a drowned boy from his eyes as he tells me his regrets.

Our parents grow old in secret and kiss their grandchildren like safe ghosts.

I remember my Nan’s smile was never the same in water than on Sundays.

Our parents grow old in secret and I have seen so many things that undo me,

The way my Mother licked her hair black at beautiful spreads at dead weddings

Where instant cameras spat out the eighties like doleites out of Talbot gates.

Our parents grow old in secret and I have felt my Fathers lingering embrace

He is telling me without telling me all the things he wished he had told me.

Our parents grow old in secret and I have heard my Mother singing on her own

And she can hit all the high notes to songs she wrote herself before children.

Sometimes in my Mother’s dreams she skips back to her Mammy and is scolded

By sandals that never stop skipping back to her Mammy, getting smaller and smaller until she stops growing.

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