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

 

 

 

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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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