"Last Will" by Geoffrey Philp

Geoffrey Philp
Geoffrey Philp is a Jamaican poet, novelist, and playwright. He is the author of the novel, Benjamin, My Son and five poetry collections: Exodus and Other Poems, hurricane center, Florida Bound, xango music, and Twelve Poems and A Story for Christmas. He has also written a book of short stories, Uncle Obadiah and the Alien; a play, Ogun's Last Stand, and a children's book, Grandpa Sydney's Anancy Stories.








Last Will

When they part my hair, lay in my palms a rosary,
Under a tent of sky, let gardenias lisp my prayers.
Rest me gently in a little town named Struie.

For I am past these pains, beyond all injury;
I live with each pulse through your fingers.
I will settle in the dust of your memory.

Scream my faults to the tired air; my treachery
With those I loved, lapses never forgiven, remember.
Rest me gently in a little town named Struie.

When I become the final entry in a diary,
And tears shine like asterisks on the pages of a ledger,
I will settle in the dust of your memory,

Curl on your tongue, a favorite apostrophe,
As the taste of smoke seeps into darkened chambers,
Rest me gently in a little town named Struie.

Bury me in that cedar-strewn cemetery
With my father whose face is now a blur.
I will settle in the dust of your memory.
Rest me gently in a little town named Struie.

***

Update: I've received many e-mails concerning my health and I can assure you that as of my last check-up, I am in good health.

"Last Will" was part of my second collection of poems, Florida Bound, and it was written in the voice of my mother who had died shortly after the publication of my first collection of poems, Exodus and Other Poems, which was livicated to her.

Thank you, my brothers and sisters. I am well.

1Love,
Geoffrey

Comments

Stephen Bess said…
Beautiful words, brother. Real nice. This is a time that many of us don't care to think of, but you've made it sound restful, peaceful, and appealing.
Frances-Anne said…
Very nice...
Stephen, I wouldn't say appealing, but transitions are inevitable.

There are people whom I miss that if I had a chance, even if it meant fighting with them, I would because they would be here:

"Scream my faults to the tired air; my treachery
With those I loved, lapses never forgiven, remember."

It's all a part of this wonderful thing called life
Thanks, Frances-Anne. How you doing, sis?
FSJL said…
This is a lovely, elegiac piece. It puts me in mind of Neville Dawes, when I knew him, saying that he had reached the age of death.

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