Taps at a Window on an Evening

Like rain, my father came back from the other side. 
At the place left vacant for a guest
I lay an empty plate, a fork, a knife
And I sense he won’t stay long. 
The dead are not known for enjoying white rice and lentils. 
As ever, he’d prefer to read Nagib Mahfouz’s Love in the Rain
Which he bought years ago in the Old City in paperback. 
Memories are assembled at the table like nourishing dishes: 
The broad hands of my father grip my hand and my sister’s hand,
Grip the string of beads, the pipe, the books, 
With that same gentle restraint
For shattered things.