in which iphicles imagines (how else the story might have gone)

image

(i)

in another version of the story
daddy doesn’t turn to tumours

doesn’t lose the means to walk
and brother doesn’t carry him

to water where the horses
stamp their hooves and turn away

(ii)

in another version of the story
daddy doesn’t drown

just gets old
then older still

so we watch him –
skin slackening

bones hollowing
joints fusing

eyes milk-white dividing
split the gaze

(one eye looks upon the world –
the other on the question underneath)

(iii)

in another version of the story
daddy just grows old

and quiet
till one day he doesn’t speak at all

so herc and i, we see ourselves –
see how a body’s just a line that ends

and how a father’s not a thing
if not a map to silence

(iv)

and before he goes, herc and i
will find him there one day –

standing at the water’s edge
as though he sees another way

my brother will be on his way
to claim the murder in his name

and i will only ever be a question
and daddy, standing always

at the water’s edge
will only ever be

a kind of silence
calling back.

4 thoughts on “in which iphicles imagines (how else the story might have gone)”

    1. Thanks Frederick. I always appreciate your positivity. This poem is from verse novel manuscript (in progress)

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