Poetry Shelf Friday spot: A poem on the tenth anniversary of my father’s death







Valentine’s Day (for dad)


In the sweltering Northland heat we are next to you

holding close the very best of days in these last hours


our different memories coming together as you breathe

and the sound of Queen and Pink Floyd loud and soft


You the king of sweets we ate your fat banana fritters

oozing whipped cream and jam, you always eating two


while we were bursting with one, your wicked caramel sauce

your plates of sticky toffee at the start of a game


soccer or cricket, and we remember the endless test matches

on the transistor radio you held you your ear or


the way you danced with your crying nephew to help him sleep

perhaps a jazz beat in the background, and the spectacular backward


flips you did on the beach when we went camping or

the conversations you had on your ham radio to the other


side of the world, or the stars you showed us in the dead of night

through the eye of your telescope, and the way you got up at the hint


of dawn to bring fresh snapper, or the way you drove

like Speedy Gonzales in our brand new triumph


pulling me out of school to see the shiny new paint, or the way

you cranked up the stereo to play Jethro Tull or tuned your violin to play Bach


or drove the length of the North Island to see me when I needed you

or the way you sat when people stood and stood when people sat.


We four in this sweltering room, as your skinny arms

and skinny breath draw us close,


we hold each other and in this way

we are holding you dear father



Paula Green  14 February 2010










2 thoughts on “Poetry Shelf Friday spot: A poem on the tenth anniversary of my father’s death

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