For my Father
Optimism’s cruelty: you know
Your illness is an inconvenience
To us, amongst the other things, and so
You turn that side away from us, say ‘Hence
This won’t affect my life and what I do.’
You also mean ‘Your lives.’ So we all act
Like this is just a thing we’re living through.
We turn ourselves away from that last fact.
You cried at our parting, you that don’t
Cry often or with ease, and said ‘Have fun.’
Even when you’re ill I know you won’t
Admit to us how thin life’s thread has spun.
In the end you know you’ll face your end alone.
Your life is almost over and mine has just begun.
Harmke van Dijk
If you have any thoughts on this poem, Harmke
van Dijk would be pleased to hear them.