In Vino Veritas
Last year, on the road to Pwll Ddu,
I turned the steering wheel too fast
and almost rolled the car I rented.
My mother’s ashes were in the back.
I was driving my father to the Gower
so he could scatter them on the sea,
as she had requested. “Watch what
you’re doing,” my father cried.
“You’ve knocked your mother down.”
Now, as I drink to forget her ashes
tumbling around in their plastic urn,
I call you names. Crude graffiti clings
to the wall I have built between us.
Can you forgive me? In vino veritas,
said the ancient Romans, but truth from
a bottle is a double-edged sword cutting
both striker and person struck. My love,
I sense stark darkness within you. I see
black stars exploding to flood blue skies
with their inevitable ink. Can you feel
the instant hurt behind my eyes, like I
sense yours? Here, in one of our secret
gardens, give me the pardon I never gave
my parents. Heal the harm I’ve done.
Forgive me. Break the cycle. Set us all free.