My Father’s Belt, by Mims Sully

My Father’s Belt

looped around my waist,
moves when I breathe
like a phantom limb.
The leather cracks,

moves when I breathe.
With bronze lustre
the leather cracks
as if with laughter.

With bronze lustre,
his face creased
as if with laughter
as disease spread.

His face creased,
a shifting of skin,
as disease spread
its tightening belt.

A shifting of skin
drawn across bone
like a tightening belt;
his body buckled.

Drawn across bone
this broad strap
buckles my body
with a strong clasp.

This broad strap
holds me together
with a strong clasp
like my Father’s arm.

Holding me together;
like a phantom limb
my Father’s arm
loops around my waist.


— Published 1st of March 2021


About Mims Sully

Mims Sully studied Advanced Creative Writing at the Open University, passing with distinction. Publications include Prole, Strix, Obsessed with Pipework and Trouvaille Review and she was long-listed for The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2016. She is currently putting together a pamphlet of poems about dementia, inspired by her experience of looking after her mother.