Call to mind
Give me quiet now, while I call to mind
The silences outside these over-crowded seconds
To remember —
The Quiet Man, my father, a Gunner in the Navy,
Whose hands slipped knots of lessons learned
Around those silences:
“Never sign your name to anything.”
In six years he had seen too many bodies for only
One-hundred and twenty seconds to remember,
And my father, his father, nor his brothers
Can rightly claim one Planck
Because they survived
With a sea god at their back.
But they brought the quiet with them
Deeper than the sea.
“Your children must remember.”
Said Woodbine Willie
and we do
We remember the silences
Where a father should have been.