after my father

after my father the Kommandant
read Hansel & Gretel
he never left me in the forest
or anywhere near
his busy factory chimneys

he was a true father
who obeyed his boss

a loving father
who kept German Shepherd dogs
behind high wire fences

some nights he counted stars
once when there were
over two thousand
he tried to explain
how easily they turned to ash

from the top step of the slide
in our villa garden
I used to wave to the many trains
that hurried to his factory

my father told me
all those screams and gunshots
were only kind engineers
protecting families from wolves

wolves were everywhere





Kerrin Sharpe has published three collections of poetry (all with Victoria University Press): three days in a wishing well (2012), there’s a medical name for this (2014), and rabbit rabbit (2015). Her fourth collection, louder, has been completed and is in the final editing stages. Her poems have appeared in a wide range of journals, including Oxford Poets 13 (Carcanet Press UK).

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