Abstract Dad

I wrote this poem and drew this portrait as a tribute to my dad, who died when I was 7 years old.

It’s a long time,
Fifty-one years minus 7,
For ‘dad’ to be
An abstract concept.
The one photo
Pretends, from a frame,
That we remember each other,
And it feels unnerving,
Gazes meeting in
Cognition of
Memories never
Made.

I have modelled
My own men;
Collaged works
Of art from
Movies and books,
Myths and magic.
Perfect.
And each one bears
A heart shaped
Like you,
Dad.

Old

You were 83,
And immediately I
Asked you about the war,
As if you were
An historical relic.
And I had visions of
Women painting
Stocking seams on legs,
And cans of Spam,
And dating an
American man.
But you were only
A kid.

You said you were lonely,
And you only
Came out to be
Amongst people,
And I realised
You were a church
Without a steeple,
As you pray
For souls,
For your empty days
To be made whole,
By the passers by,
And bus stop dwellers,
And anyone who
Has a pulse.

To be thanked for
Loosening my tongue,
And sitting a while
In a dual of ‘am’
And ‘was’ and ‘maybe one day’,
Sort of makes you
Feel bad;
This old lady, sad,
And happy,
Ricocheting fragments
Of a lonely life
Onto a mirror of
Empathy.
Beaming for the camera
That captures
Brave smiles,
And then putting away
Her lips,
As she doesn’t need them
When she gets home
To herself.

©️ Sarah Drury 2021

Tears

Tears


Don’t want to write
A sad poem,
But my eyes
Refuse to cooperate
With my
Polite smile
And weather worn
Bravado.


Feelings are seeping out
Of closets
Where I thought
I had sealed doors with
Art and beautiful music.
Thinking I had grown beyond
The tears.
But I hadn’t.
And haven’t.


I saw a homeless man
Yesterday.
His face a map of pain
And dejection.
And today the black girl
On TV,
With eyes that
Sold a charity,
And broke me.
And my tears feel like
Insignificance.
Like a first world indulgence.
Privilege.
But I miss you.

Sarah Drury, March 2021

Soul Gazing

Soul Gazing

Sun, scorching the breath of the trees.
Birds basking in the kiss of the heat,
Serenading my summertime sadness.
It would be so warm if only
I could feel the pulse of you,
The heart of you.
Be the soul of you.

I see the view around me.
I see couples holding hands,
Gazing into eyes like they
Were gateways to the other.
Lips touch like hearts fluttering
In butterfly cascades.
It would be so thrilling if only
I could feel the essence of you,
The heart of you.
Be the soul of you.

What are we, but souls,
With gowns of fine flesh
And bones to hang our
Many faces on?
What is love but
Undressing our burden of robes?
Standing exposed and vulnerable.
Giving our soul in exchange
For a handful of heaven.

Angels whispering in the shadows of nightfall,
Moonlight painting sighs on solitude.
Ghosts may tell their stories of
Haunting hearts but
It would be so perfect, if only
I could feel the yearning of
Your soul,
The heart of you.
Be the soul of you.
Feel the soul of you.

Sarah Drury 2021