RIP my father, Aug 6
One of the happiest days of my life
I remember walking with you holding hands,
well I skipped, down the High Street one Saturday
afternoon in the summer of 66.
I remember asking why everyone carried on
shopping as normal, as if England hadn’t
just won the World Cup. I was delirious.
You were probably quiet that day too,
self-contained as a tree, called ‘the quiet man’
on holidays. You never complained about work,
the bank job you hated, or my boring gifts
of socks or handkerchiefs, and never mentioned
the sacrifices you both made for us children.
You were always there, steady, your unusual
temperament made nothing of me coming home
unexpectedly from India, close to death.
I can no longer help you order your stamp collection
or watch a game of football with you. There are
seven billion people on the planet, but one is missing.
What photograph to load?
I missed his death by a week, but he had cheated death so many times I had no idea how long he could survive on sheer will and determination. My mother told me not to fly back for the funeral, a small immediate family affair.