Marking Absence

Author: • April 30, 2018 • Poems

There were ways I marked Dad’s absence:
living room sofa without his slender frame
prepping lectures on a laptop,
dining room serene without his thunderclap
voice raging over broken dishes,
kettle not whistling with water for his Earl Grey tea,
chair idling at the head of the dining room table.

Lumbering indoors after dark,
eyes blood-shot,
back bent as if imitating Atlas
& right arm bandaged where tubes diffused blood,
he’d listen to Coltrane or Brubeck as if meditating.

The prospect of losing him was a repeating record.
I held onto the Santa hat he wore inside
over his bald head each winter
& his habit of humming oratorios while eating
to keep the pain of what may come
from breaking me open.

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About the Author

Cecile's Writer: Jonathan RoweAuthor: Jonathan Rowe

Country of residence: United States of America

Nationality: American

Mother tongue: English

Jonathan Rowe was born in Boston, Massachusetts but moved to Johannesburg, South Africa at the age of twelve, and spent the next nine years there before returning to the United States. His parents are of American and British nationality. Jonathan’s work has been published in Emmanuel College's literary magazine, The Saintly Review, and can be found at

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