The Drop Off
Everything’s a blur. You don’t play Talking Heads,
Bob Dylan, talk about work or your iffy stomach.
You read the road as if it’s encrypted
with what a father should say on a drive like this.
Should I apologize for your missed appointments,
unread emails? There is always someone
who needs you more. Mostly I’m sorry
that I’m not as happy as you raised me to be.
I want to ask the GPS the quickest route to end this silence.
When we reach The Centre you pull up and go straight
for the boot. This is what you know to do,
to lift the heavy thing, tell me to take your good umbrella.
You drag my suitcase to the door where the nurse stands
with a notepad and clutches your arm.
I’ll come back soon, you say,
but she smiles and says, It’s better if you don’t.
By kind permission of the author and The Gallery Press, Loughcrew, Oldcastle, County Meath, Ireland from Raised Among Vultures (2022).