Parting Gift
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.

Hélène Demetriades

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Hélène Demetriades would be pleased to hear them.

This poem will appear in
Hélène's new collection, The Plumb Line, to be published in February.