In morning’s hurry, I didn’t notice clouds

So grey and low, like the cloud you brought
to bed November named, weighing not
of whales or weaning calves, but two small girls,
seventeen hundred miles between and three
and a half years of no visiting while you hid
in mountains, swam in the eyes of a woman
who could not love, heavy as she was with drink.

I bring my own cloud named October, leaden
with my long-dead sister, our fatherless childhood.
I am not your child, love, but I am proof.
Of what? What grows in the empty space
left by fathers? How many times will fall
return before you climb into the arms
of my fatherborn words: You are a good man.

with thanks to Rosemerry for the whales

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