Another 5 minute freewrite but this time in response to my friend Musa Okwonga's poem 'Mortal'. I read it this morning and was struck by the lines There is nothing worse/ Than to be an ambition who has lost its thirst. I knew I had to put something down. Musa is a man rich in talent and this is my way of thanking him for all that he gives to the world. My piece below is very much about my dad who, like Musa, was never short of a word or two.
He left me his books, the weight of the universe and so many unread words that I struggled to hold all of them - ignored, forgotten, featureless.
Instead I carried his name. Some places I travelled to it meant something, transformed me from anonymous in to a named being. And, for moments, I even felt a fleeting sense of love.
Now their spines shuffle together on a high shelf, fidgeting in their jackets. Their glorious moment passed and all I have left is the recollection of the day he handed them on to me. And his name. I carry that mouthing it in to the speechless dark waiting for an echo that never comes.