Mark Terrill




My father seated
at the kitchen table
adrift in his dementia
just a few months
before his death.
I’m standing behind him
tying the bib around his neck
flashing on the fact that
sixty-some years ago
while I sat in my highchair
at the kitchen table
he stood behind me
doing the very same thing.
Fucked up that the loved ones
all have to go and even more so
the way they have to do it—
sweet though the way
what goes around
comes around and holds fast
like a mountaineer’s rope
connecting all us
hapless drifters.


MARK TERRILL is a native Californian and ex-merchant seaman living in Germany since 1984, working as a shipyard welder, road manager for rock bands, cook and postal worker. He is the author of numerous collections of poetry, prose poems, memoir, and translations, most recently Diamonds & Sapience (Dark Style, 2017), and Competitive Decadence (New Feral Press, 2017). He holds no diplomas or degrees whatsoever.


Read more by Mark Terrill:

Poems in B O D Y
A translation of Rolf Dieter Brinkmann’s “Some Very Popular Songs
A poem in The Diagram
Prose poems in The Brooklyn Rail
Remembering Paul Bowles in Empty Mirror