by Stuart Barnes

My father was a phantom. I was five
when obligation drove him to the grave.
For more than twenty years I kept a brave
face, praying that I one day might revive
his photograph, or try keep alive
the memories abandoned in this cave
(a cloak of notes forsaken by their stave).
Without a figurehead one can’t survive.
Then one September whitecoats came for me
with salty tablets, blue electric shocks;
my father, from his darkness, heard the news,
and bore me to a villa by the sea,
reversed the cobwebbed arms of dusty clocks,
then kissed my cheeks and patched my tattered shoes.

Stuart Barnes is writing his first novel; when he comes up for air he writes poetry and short stories. Although no longer a teenager he still listens to The Cure every day, and enjoys walking beside the Yarra River in his hometown of Melbourne.
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Metamorphosis image

Pat Jones
Published October 3 2010