He died in France


My father died in France in high summer. One bitter-sweet memory was buying fruit from a street market to tempt his failing appetite.

Fruit in a French street market

Cherries, ripe, red
from a Rouen market,
cupped in her hand.

His hand, pale and still,
in a Rouen hospital,
cupped in hers.

Apricots, too firm, warm,
from a Rouen market,
trap ripening sun.

His brow damp, chill,
in a Rouen hospital
traps breaking dreams.

Sights, sounds, recede
in the Rouen market,
basket full, she hurries on

to lay her final gifts
before him in the
Rouen hospital bed –

sweet red cherries,
memories of their life;
sharp apricot tang,
plucked before their time

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About SallyJ

I am a writer and a poet.
This entry was posted in death, Dversepoetry, Family, Life writing, melancholy, memories, online writing, poet, poetry, poets, seasons, Uncategorized, writer, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to He died in France

  1. brian miller says:

    oh you ping my heart pretty well with this…esp your closing lines….I am sorry for your loss…a tender memory on the fruit…I really like the reminder of place in each stanza….heavy with emotion as well…

  2. ManicDdaily says:

    Wonderfully done – poignant, emotionally fraught but very elegant, musical, beautiful–a wonderful poem–all the little echos, refrains – just great. k.

  3. SallyJ says:

    Thank you both for your comments. I have at last come to the place where I can remember more than just the fact of his death.

  4. kkkkaty says:

    A fitting tribute to your father…every daughter needs one 😉

  5. Shawn says:

    Beautiful and fragile. Strong and ardent.

  6. charityv says:

    such sweet memories, such sweet fruit
    equally rich, both left a wonderful picture in my heart

  7. SallyJ says:

    Thank you all for your comments.

  8. Sally, this is a wonderful poem, so evocative of the time you spent with your father. It’s good to see that you’ve reached the place where you can remember more than his final days. So hard to lose them …

  9. suej says:

    Great poem, emotive, poignant, especially the final lines.. Like Brian, I like the reminder of place in each stanza.

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