My Father, Me, My Child


Sometimes I’m my father.
How I resurrect my worries
For no reason, looking out of the window
To see all sorts of ominous signs;
The creeping serpent, the thief
Or even that child who is waiting
To pounce on the mango tree
When I’m not watching. Still
What I learnt from my father was order,
How to keep files in a filing cabinet,
How to run the car with care,
And how to comb the scanty
Hair into a spendthrift comb-over.
Now I’m just a fraction of the man he is,
Looking at my lifeline on my palm
Knowing that my eating habits
And my lack of exercise will,
Give me a premature departure,
From this world. And all I want is to leave
Behind a little legacy; a poetry blog,
A little house that I built with
My inheritance and a bookrack,
Holding the many books I couldn’t read
That will one day belong to the termites.
While I’m always looking through pages
Of a familiar book, that I read over and over,
Like my life dependent on it.
Its fact – and not myth – that with age
We get set in our ways, when
We write our own bibles in our minds,
And work towards our own prophesies.
And like those old porcelain tea sets,
They are passed from one generation to the next,
And those brittle habits upon which
We build our paltry existences, they enfeeble
The fecundity of the impressionable mind,
And in that connectivity between generations,
We pass on our traditions, those porcelain tea cups
Holding a brew of our misplaced love.


Published by

meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist, who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. Dilantha wrote his first poem at the ripe age of 32 and now has more than 1700 poems on his blog. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, Kitaab, Eastlit, American Journal of Poetry and Ravens Perch, among others. He was also awarded the prize for "The emerging writer of the year - 2016" in the Godage National Literary Awards, Sri Lanka for his first collection of poems (Kite Dreams – A Sarasavi Publication), while being shortlisted for the poetry prize. Dilantha is a dual citizen of Sri Lanka and Australia, and shares his experiences from two different cultures. He blogs at - https://meandererworld.

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