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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Dad

This week's prompt at Poetry Jaam is fathers and/or fatherhood.

In peace time he'd made golf clubs, but in war
the hands that had released those club heads from
incarceration in their virgin blocks of wood
made play with aircraft engines and the like,
the shot-up wrecks that made it home each night.
He loved the service life, the camaraderie,
the working with his hands and intellect.
Attestably, he had a flair for it,
though what I've grasped since then,
but did not at the time, were his heroic
efforts to get home. The shortest pass,
just hours at times, would see him leaving camp.
Towns, cities, countryside in chaos. Blackout.
Air raids. Little likelihood of trains or buses -
which in any case would take too long.
He'd thumb a lift. Today it might prove difficult
to make the journeys he made in the time,
but then it must have seemed impossible.
And always there would be the final worry:
getting back. He'd risk so much, sometimes
for just an hour or two. I guess he died
not realising that I knew
how much we'd meant to him.

11 comments:

jabblog said...

This strikes a chord with me. My father was based in Rosyth and my mother was living in Gillingham, Kent. Each weekend my father would travel home by train just to spend a few hours with his family - amazing!

Brian Miller said...

rather sad end...but in the end one willing to do such says much of their heart...well played...

Mary said...

This is a very poignant portrait / tribute to your father, Dave.

Helen said...

I read your poem several times ... and sat reflecting on how much emotion you put into its creation.

My father died not realising how much he meant to us ... it still hurts.

Thank you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think those last three lines apply to most of us Dave, more's the pity. Yet my Dad for one would have probably been embarrassed if I had told him - in those days in just was not done, sadly.

120 Socks said...

Sad but true. I guess some strong connections are never voiced or fully understood between parent and child. Great Poem1

Lolamouse said...

Lovely tribute to your dad. We don't do things for our children because we expect them to appreciate it. We do it because it's the right thing to do and hope that maybe some day, they will realize how much we love them. I'm sure your dad knows you know.

Dave King said...

jabblog
Hi, a warm welcome to you. Many thanks for visiting and for your interesting comments. That was quite a journey for your father!
I often think of the difficulties that my parents' generation had to face, and wonder if I would have stood up so well.

Brian
Hi. Good to have you visiting and to read your comments. Thanks very much for them.

Mary
In some ways I miss him more as time passes.

Helen
Alas, I guess that is not uncommon.

The Weaver of Grass
Yes, you are right, I think. It was a generation embarrassed by too much show of feeling - except towards children.

120 socks
A reassuring comment. Thanks for it.

Lolamouse
Yes, that is very much how I have always looked at it. Much appreciated, thanks.

Carl said...

I was incredibly moved by this poem Dave. It struck a chord with recent events in my life.

Dave King said...

Carl
This is the sort of comment that helps to convince me that the effort of posting is ultimately worthwhile. Thanks.

Carl said...

Dave - I agree I find there are those comments that help carry you through the days you do not feel like posting. Glad to know you got that from one of mine.