You had two shirts.
They were old but always starched clean;
sweat stains scrubbed lighter than the cloth underneath
– a sign of a hardworking man with a good wife.
You were patient with this world and the wrong
of a retired teacher having to work to keep life in line;
maybe you never cared for a bigger slice.
I’m sorry I was too young, too overcome with life
to see that suddenly, there were bags under your eyes-
no patience, no smiles.
The back of your shirt had crow shit
and dark sweat stains under the sleeves,
like something was wrong
and she was gone.
Sir, I’m sorry,
Poem written for and published at Colomboscope: Shadow scenes, August 2015
Author’s note: This is the original, unedited version bearing minor differences to the version published at Colomboscope 2015.