Friday, July 04, 2014

I Wish I Could Tell You, Matt.

I wish I could tell you, Matt,

I wish it weren’t so hard.

 Yet all I do is force you to your room.

And I cry out loud, to my surprise, that it is not yet time,

for dinner.


Little bro is winding in and curling around the bed sheets

And then he gets his toy train and smashes all wagons in half treats.

-knowing he can fix it back-

But I do not know how to fix the wound dad gave me,

that morning, at breakfast, between cereals and juice.

God, how my stomach hurt,

Matt, can you fix that, too?



So instead I just ask you if you are listening to me

 And I cry out frustrated, to your confusion,

as if it hadn’t been enough already

for you – a young child - to stay alone

until I called you,

cause mum hasn’t started making dinner yet.


Little bro is on the floor with hands in his rabbit sleepers,

feet in his dog gloves


pretending he is father to his innocent furry herd.


I’ve always felt that the most intriguing sound for a girl

Is her father’s key on the door at 7:00 o’clock.

her happy voice announcing

“Dad’s home, mum, wake up, let’s make dinner!”

But mum hasn’t started making dinner yet.


Yet tonight, on this third night,

it is not dad’s thin metal pointer and the short thumb

dancing around the pocket-warmed bronze.

No, these are not here tonight.

It is just mum coming from her new work.

I can’t call dad to make dinner with me,

someone else is cooking it for him.

How wrong was I, to have been feeling that dads are forever.


Why me and not Matt - mum ok - but why not him?

Why do I get to play the role of a grown-up?

Well, I guess the pain I suffer on my wound is nothing

compared to an innocent child’s tragic oblivion to the absence.

So I call you to stay in your room,

To my grief,

I don’t think you should be coming down tonight either.

Because mum hasn’t started making dinner yet.


Just as I was pushing odds,

And thinking of the right odes,

 all the time I had left behind,

 to fit keys through tiny holes

 what I was afraid and hoping all along,  

just happened.

The phone rang. 

My heart barked.

Like a cocker spaniel it barked.

And I almost cracked

my skull on the phone.


“Dad, is it you, dad?”


“Dad, is that you, dad?”


But it was uncle John

“No, we still haven’t heard from this lad!”

And what I had been hoping might never happen.

So mum hasn’t started making dinner yet.



Matt must have heard the ringing.  

I know he did.


I hear him call out his worst distress in pain,

that three days I had him locked up in there,

yet this had been the very least that happened

to our family,

oh, how  hungry he must be by now,

but for him it’s best like this.


I am on the phone and I am making my hair.  

I am pulling whole tufts of sheer blonde pain

and I know it will never grow again.

 I am not helping mum for dinner anymore.


I climb the stairs.

Door is ajar,

little Matt on top of his library,

chewing up on super-hero comics,

feasting over colourful, happy pages.

I wish I could tell you, Matt, how, oh, how I wish I were a hero in there right now.

But mum hasn’t started making dinner yet.

© Christos Rodoulla Tsiailis

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