David Hay

A Death in the Family

David Hay

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A patriarch makes his bed in the ground.

He is snug in his duvet of dirt.

Be quiet now, says a young girl to her brother,

The dead will rise and make our skin their suits.

Everyone agrees his crying is appropriate,

They give him their worn but compassionate smiles.

A son whose face is marked by each failure

Talks to the empty sky.

In the morning there will be a word,

Lying doubtless like a gun on the table.

He will read his newspaper sighing,

His wife will touch him gently on the shoulder

As language fails her once more.

The following day,

He will go to his parents’ house,

Hug his mother and try to ignore the unbridgeable silence.

He will look in his father’s study

At his meticulously ironed monochrome suits,

Waiting empty in his wardrobe.

He will flick through his books of human dust,

That brought him hours of lonely pleasure.

He will turn and see his father’s writing

Barely legible on a scrap piece of paper,

Knowing it will be binned.

He will step back and observe

The room as if he were a stranger,


He will shut his father’s door

And feel no resolution,

He will feel too guilty to cry. 

David Hay

David Hay is an English Teacher in the Northwest of England. He has written poetry and prose since the age of 18 when he discovered Virginia Woolf's The Waves and the poetry of John Keats. These and other artists encouraged him to seek his own poetic voice. He has currently been accepted for publication in Dreich, Abridged, Acumen, The Honest Ulsterman, The Dawntreader, Versification, The Babel Tower Notice Board, The Stone of Madness Press, The Fortnightly Review, The Lake, Selcouth Station, GreenInk Poetry, Dodging the Rain, Seventh Quarry and Expat-Press.  His debut publication is the Brexit-inspired prose-poem Doctor Lazarus published by Alien Buddha Press 2021.

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