My Dad.

We waded out in our wellies.
and made bottle traps
to catch tiny brown minnows.
as they darted downstream.
We kept them swimming
in a water butt and fed them well
until their time had come,
and soon a thirty pound pike
was hanging on the washing line
waiting to be cooked up
for our cat Judy.

We made kites from plastic sacks
stretched over thin bamboo canes,
perfectly balanced
with long bowed tails
that rose up overhead.
They danced in the wind.
We built spitfires and hurricanes
and Lancaster bombers.
We walked round hilly pilly lands.
We went out on our bikes
and freewheeled down Acklam hill
with our legs stretched out,
heading into the sun.

My dad was cool.
He rode a BSA Bantam,
with a helmet and goggles
that frightened the dog.
He brought me dozens of cars home.

We watched Danger Man,
and The Sweeney together.
We had no idea what was going on
in The Prisoner,
but we knew it was good.
We cheered on Illya Kuryakin
in The Man From UNCLE,
We saw all the best people live.
Tommy Cooper, Bob Monkhouse,
Les Dawson, Des O’Connor, Ken Dodd,
we saw them all,
and we loved them.

My dad made the best gravy
and the best mashed potatoes ever.
and when I came home hungry each week
from my Saturday job in W.H.Smiths
he made the best ham, egg and chips.

My dad was tall and strong.
He could jump high,
kill wasps with his bare hands,
and dig huge hairy worms
who had buried themselves deep
underneath the sand.
My small legs ran behind him
struggling to keep up.

My dad was kind.
He was always on my side,
defending me from strangers,
bringing me home.
He could whistle in tune,
and when he came home for his lunch
I was excited because I could hear him
coming down the road……..

I can hear him now.

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6 comments on “My Dad.

  1. Jenni says:

    ……so incredibly beautiful…..đź’”

  2. tyrobeek says:

    A lovely post, Pat. So sorry for your loss. “To live in the hearts of those we love is not to die.”

  3. Patricia,

    I think you know I have great respect with any writer who can write well about childhood and their family. You do this and your latest piece is a testament to your commitment to this difficult subject. Your piece is so telling and reminds me that it is something I have never done, and perhaps should – one day. The photograph is very special – he was a tall man, or perhaps you are more petite than I imagined from your childhood photos! The piece did remind me powerfully of a song by Martin Simpson ‘Never any good’ a song about his father. If you have Spotify you can find it here:

    With thanks

    Nigel

    • patricia1957 says:

      Thank you Nigel. I particularly need encouragement with this one as I shall read it out at his funeral next Friday. If I am strong enough…………. He was six foot one and a half and I am exactly five foot. 🙂

  4. Ali says:

    Beautiful Pat and, given my experiences earlier this awful year, the last three lines brought tears. The whole piece though is so loving and positive in such a difficult time. You will read it next week and honour his memory in such a good way. xx

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