I mentioned before that my mental health and creative writing have always been connected. When I was 18 my father died of stomach cancer and this sonnet is about his final days. Just as blogging has, and still is, helping me digest and come to terms with some of the more recent traumas in my life, writing this poem helped me begin to work through my grief.
We kept on hoping that you would wake up
Wetting your lips from a green plastic cup
Mum told you about her day again, again, again
Twisting a golden cross on a sliver chain.
I was so sure that you would come back
Couldn’t believe you would leave us like that.
If this was a fairy-tale, like Snow White
Then you wouldn’t have had to die that night.
Mum’s tears would have washed all your pain away
And put Death off to some far distant day.
But reality is cold-hearted cruel
And all I have left is this frozen replay
Of the last few words I know you heard me say:
‘Goodnight Dad, I love you.’