This is a particularly evocative poem from Brendan Kennelly . It sums up wonderfully, the thoughts and emotions of someone who has lost a father.
No sooner downstairs after the night's rest
And in the door
Than you started to dance a step
In the middle of the kitchen floor.
And as you danced
You made your own music
Always in tune with yourself.
Well, nearly always, anyway.
You're buried now
In Lislaughtin Abbey
And whenever I think of you
I go back beyond the old man
Mind and body broken
To find the unbroken man.
It is the moment before the dance begins,
Your lips are enjoying themselves
Whistling an air
Whatever happens or cannot happen
In the time I have to spare
I see you dancing, father
From 'Familiar Strangers: New & Selected Poems 1960-2000 (Bloodaxe Books, 2004), copyright