Rod MacKenzie
Rod MacKenzie

My father told me…

 

My father came and told me of a place he went to as a child. It was a tunnel sweet with weeds and a rushing, voiceless wind. He said he wished he could take me there, sometime.

 

My father came and told me of places he went to as a youth. They were places where bushes rustled like petticoats and trees lit many small, flickering flames which people came along and called leaves. He said I will want to go there, sometime.

 

My father sat hunched beside me and lit a cigarette whilst he told me of war. He spent ages telling me of places he had been to as a young man. They were filled with the frightening sounds of waves washing over huddled objects on beaches; you knew the objects were bodies because the waves were quieter and somehow caressed them.

 

My father walked beside me and told me of places I would go when I was lonely, bitter and cold.  He ran out of words here – but in the dimming light I saw him hold up to me a bouquet of stars, the kind that warm your hands and make you brave.

 

My father lay down beside me and told me of all these places again and again… until like clouds of moths they were filled with fingerprints and hushed mouths.

 

Then he grew quiet. He knew I would only set out for these places after he died.

 

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