The gap between my fingers

The gap between my fingers

stops me in my tracks
I  wear my father’s hands
big knuckles dating time
like tree rings

grief does not mend
it grows a scab on pain

a smelly cheese, buffed shoes ,
a cactus in a pot
 a stranger’s ears or nose
will knock it off
to bare the wound

they  say  hands are the giveaway

and I remember his
holding a pen
a book
a Players No.10

or folded in his lap
on the day of the diagnosis

knowing the train had left the station

that it was the last one home.