Milano

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5

wandering around milan my father
i know that (bred in the bone) i’m you
i walk and think – my legs roll onwards
i take in the atmosphere but not the view

but now you’re dead – and i’ve been silent
for the past five months since you were burned
a numbness that called itself acceptance
sat in my heart and outward yearned

with other deaths i’ve not been stingy
when my mother died and then my daughter
a kind of celebration knew me
and words flowed upwards like clear water

but you were ninety-two in dying
when nature came proudly to claim its own
you went as rightly as you’d journeyed
and words had best leave well alone

but as i sit on this sunny sunday
watching an italian family pass
i am this small boy holding tightly
his father’s hand across the grass

and here as i sit now weeping lightly
i’m sorry for those speechless tomes
that only now dare dredge that language
to honour your presence in my bones

and child to you i am a father
and my own children i tightly need
for all those deaths i deal them daily
may these green words a little bleed

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