Fierce winds

Black mountain in the distance, stark against a full moon sky. Close by, timber posts rising out of the dark of the hedge, and thin strands of barbed wire pulled loosely between them. Fierce winds blow tonight, and I walk thinking "My father is dying, my father is dying". Every day, he eats less, and the weight falls away, effortlessly, silently. As if all the bulk I have ever known was only a disguise, hiding the skinny bones of a bewildered boy, sitting in a cattle truck, heading East.

The wind blows, it blows, and brief clouds pass translucent across the face of the man in the moon. And my father grows lighter by the hour, lighter and more insubstantial. As if the man never existed, and instead, only a boy, with too little flesh on his bones.

Christmas is over, but still the house heaves with food. And my father sits, in a clean tidy room, with kind people watching, sits wasting, sits failing to thrive, refusing all but the meanest mouthfuls of food.

Fierce winds blow. The veil grows thin. It feels as if he's passed the point of no return. Hunger has ceased to exist. Hunger, which so defined his early days. Hunger has ceased to exist. And as we pour cream onto pudding, gravy onto plates full of food, he grows less substantial by the hour.

And so a life turns full circle. And the man that he was disappears. And I try to hold him, but I can't.


  1. Dear Krystyna, I well remember the irony as the light and life fading from my mother even as it lit up and went on all around me . . . like a promise somehow. She too gradually faded almost as if she had decided for herself it was her time, she too became smaller, more child-like, more vulnerable, and I felt more like her guardian, or the guardian of all she had been.

    I felt privileged to share her last moments as she had share my first.

    Kia kaha - stand strong (in love).

  2. " and I felt more like her guardian, or the guardian of all she had been......"

    Thank you for this. I think we all have a sacted duty to carry the stories of those who came before us.

    Sometimes it's hard.

    I'm apprecuating the Kia Kaha


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