Daybreak walks in the city
with me dragging my feet
the driving lesson that became an accident
Chicklets to combat the salt of the sea.
Sun-kissed days in the summer sun
lazy somersaults in the pool
steaks and fries and chips with sauce
rolls shared on half-day afternoons.
That movie I begged you to take me for
Where you promptly fell asleep
morning Math lessons sprinkled with twists
those formulae are mine to keep.
‘A violet by a mossy stone’
The foxtrot I never got right
The nights I sat outside your door
soothed by your snores at night.
Learning to cook eggs in the kitchen
Poached, fried and scrambled
the only dish I ever made for you
had too much salt, you never grumbled.
Long chats about life and death
Hopes and dreams, some mis-matched
Enough memories to fill my heart for years
laughter, tears, shared knick-knacks.
I saved your after-shave in a tiny bottle
I have your letters, a few dice
A button, some 2B pencils you gave to me
sharpened by your knife.
I’m still clinging to your shirt sleeve
you’re telling me to hold the arm
Those long nights till the fever broke
and you sat with me till dawn
came creeping into our world,
filling our lives with light,
your smile telling me to go on
to never give up the fight.
I have a family, daughters
that sadly you never have met
you would have loved them well,
I live with that regret.
I have your anger, your worried frown,
I still have the gold of your voice
Calling my name, telling me to watch
my back, never to play too nice.
I have all the world the sun, the stars,
each golden sunset and moonlit sky
I have rain clouds and thunderstorms
in bushels of tears I dare not cry.
I have this day, the thirteenth of May.
when you left this world of care
I have twenty-eight years of missing you
turning corners and wishing you there.