In this season of extended siestas
my father marinades
in the womb of his wheelchair,
punctures the silence of his room,
His eyes have diluted,
but when I pop strawberries in his mouth
he smacks his lips
and pummels out the juices with his gums.
Sliding my fingers over his hand
– I catch my breath –
his eyes are flaring like dying suns.
Unable to endure that deepening glow
I say, That’s a lovely smile!
He shrinks, his upper lip curls.
I can’t smile, I don’t have any teeth.
If you have any
thoughts on this poem, Hélène
Demetriades would be pleased to hear
This poem will appear in Hélène's new
collection, The Plumb Line, to be published in