Two poems for my daughter, Shiri, on the death of her father, Wordsworth McAndrew, 2008

Lines to a poet, wondering…

Among the many,

The many, many

Delicious definitions of love

That you so passionately researched

And recorded

For the entertainment of generations yet to come,

Did you ever discover any,

Did you register any

Of a father’s

For his child?


To Wordsworth – a lasting legacy

The daughter that you never chose to love,

The one, one day, you didn’t dare to meet,

Whose life you chose to leave a thing apart,

Whose joys and pain you didn’t care to share,

Can you imagine how she chose to mark

Your absence from the absence that she knew?

I do not think you can. Were you afraid

Of her disdain, of her dismissing you?

She went alone and bought a weeping tree

And planted it, because ‘that’s what they do’.

And I, who had not wept for you before,

Was overawed at the magnificence

Of such forgiving love as this for you.

And filled my eyes. I’ve never loved her more.