As I left for the last time, I hugged my dying father.
I was amazed. It was my son
his seven-year old’s pulse of hormonal weaponry
the same conclusive scent of being
track of curled hair
spoor of roller coaster protein filaments
split ends that I live to sniff
run my huntsman’s fingers through.
So that is where its from
from this old man, whom I had never hugged before
would never hug again
who lived his life, distant as a glint of lesser star
could not be seen beyond suburban street glow
who had no god, no heaven, no stone to roll away
followed his own obscure footprints
through knee length snow into the silent forest.
So, it is, with these deceptive little snakes
the old, the brilliantly new, play tricks.
Alan Hill is the Poet Laureate of the City of New Westminster, Canada. He has been published in over forty literary magazines and periodicals across Europe and North America. He originates form the west of England. He came to live in Canada after meeting his Vietnamese-Canadian wife while working in Botswana.