Proud to have work in this important #ClimateMatters issue of Riptide Journal, many thanks to Editors Sally Flint and Virginia Baily.
The issue is free to download, but for anyone having difficulty accessing the site, here is my poem:
Letters to Dad
I write to you, Dad, who will not read my letters,
who memorised The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
and knew by heart the one-eyed yellow idol,
was never idle but for the hours mined
in front of the hearth with the tv casting shadows
on your big chin. Your chin, I have inherited. In age,
I have yet to surpass the numbers of your birthday
the last time we shared cake, a tell-tale crease
curves from cheek to cheek regardless, shapes
an image of myself in your face
when you moved to land your fist.
Did you feel like you were punching yourself?
One letter away from dead,
does guilt hang weighty like an albatross,
like me aged kid with my arms around your neck,
asking you, Dad, please will you read to me?
You told me two-dimensional stories out your head,
had imagination and could build sheds from scrap,
but sat on my homework because it remained flat for you,
who, when I choked, held me upside-down,
like the book you couldn’t read,
until rind fell from my mouth like pressed flowers.
Rachel Fenton 2020