Lifespan – Poem to remember my father – on Father’s Day 2014

Posted: June 15, 2014 in Samples of My Writing, Writing Posts
Tags: , , , , , ,

Here’s a poem from my new book Time Lapse to remember my father on Father’s Day 2014. He has been gone now 19 years. He died on the morning of July 16, 1995 at the Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg from complications of pneumonia as my mother would also some 17 years later – in the same hospital on the same floor.  Here is a picture of the four of us taken before my sister was born. My brother and I were dressed alike even though we were 22 months apart.

Lifespan
(for Austen E. Hilles August 27, 1920 – July 16, 1995)

Yesterday a butterfly died on our deck
I watched its final twitches before wings lay flat
only then did it become familiar

I thought of my father fifteen years earlier
going still in his hospital bed
no one there to notice he’d stopped breathing

In the morning a slight wind scattered the butterfly’s
torn parts on the deck and I took comfort
in that rugged chain of command
each flaw shapes a powerful join

The anniversary of my father’s death
each life a trajectory under regulated sky
the moving parts made from something that was once a tree
before that a rock
or bits of soil and before that
a positive charge

Without that butterfly
I wouldn’t have remembered as clearly
that first moment when my father wasn’t in the world anymore

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Comments
  1. Bonnie Quan Symons says:

    Thanks for sharing your poem. My uncle died unexpectedly (in his sleep) on July 16, 2000.

  2. Wade Bell says:

    Nice, Robert. Thanks. 

    From: Robert Hilles >To: wcbell2003@yahoo.ca >Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 7:06:48 PM >Subject: [New post] Lifespan – Poem to remember my father – July 16, 2013 > >Robert Hilles posted: “Here’s a poem from my new book Time Lapse to remember my father gone now 18 years today July 16, 2013. He died on the morning of July 16, 1995 at the Victoria Hospital in Winnipeg from complications of pneumonia as my mother would also some 17 years later” >

  3. Henk van de Graaf says:

    Very moving, Robert. Thank you for sharing your work with us. Much appreciated.

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