Wreckage

I have a memory.

Age eight I come upstairs
to find the cracked ceiling
of my bedroom open,
my father’s foot
collapsed through it,
the plaster a tsunami
at my feet.

My father sat
in the aftermath of
gypsum and board,
doubled over, head held
in his palms.

It was the first time
I had ever seen
his face contort.
With such rage.
I thought it was just the wreck
of the ceiling
Until his hands flew up,
into fists,
and into my throat.
And he roared.
And roared.
And roared.

My father had a memory.

Swimming in the ocean,
floating on his mum’s
stomach, the milky sky
a storybook above them both.
‘I have to give you
away now,’ his mother spoke,
and left her son treading
the surface, keeping his head
above all that water, trying
desperately not to drown.

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