My Father

I was never Daddy’s girl –

I was his only seed.

He’d come so far: cow’s tail to ambassadorial sash,

always the sparkler, never the rein.

He taught me all I knew:

cheering Maclaren on TV, explaining the finer points of rugby,

testing me on African country names, world flags, capital cities,

he never once faltered, he had all the answers.

He dared me dream better, spurred me shoot higher.

We were explorers; I lived for those days

when the car’s nose would choose our final destination,

perhaps climbing up to the fortress where Richard lay prisoner,

my own Lionheart all roar and fun bluster, streaming ahead, always the one to catch.

 

No hiding of his light under bushel, repetition is his manna, boasting his flow.

Nicotine breath exploding in laughter, the world rejoiced in his fireworks,

the teasing, the wordplay, the invented words.

At times the scintillation broke my lesser spirit.

I stormed away, blinded, to be sought out and hugged,

brought back in the fold with boxing and play.

‘Of course I did not let you win that game!’ His reassuring fib.

Swirls of his humour, like chocolate, like warm custard,

would treacle forward to sturdy up the shore after the storm.

 

Spent in passion, united, against all odds so similar,

we’d sit in peaceful duality on the sofa and read.

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21 thoughts on “My Father”

  1. “cow’s tail to ambassadorial sash…” So, so good. Do you submit your poems for publication?

    1. Thank you, Robert, how kind! I haven’t so far, because poetry is my procrastination from finishing the **** novel, so I feel ashamed rather than proud of my poems.

      1. I understand the feeling…I tend to clean when I should be writing (at least you’re writing). I haven’t submitted in years, but I’m pondering it. I used to submit poems all the time, but now I’m thinking about submitting my fiction. We’ll see. Classes start back next Wednesday and I’m teaching a heavy load, so I’d better get crackin’.

      2. Oh, you should submit! Admittedly, I am better in theory than in practice on this one, but do as I say, not as I do. I just don’t feel I have the time for submissions at the moment, which is probably completely false, but it frees me up to write.

  2. This is an amazing poem, Marina. You choose your words beautifully to describe a strong character, but also of yourself and the relationship between father and daughter. I love the last stanza and I can so relate to that. :-)

  3. ha…i like it much..you give nice texture to your relationship with your dad….and you let us see him a bit through your eyes….i have boys, but i hope in some way they can say similar things of our relationship one day…smiles..

  4. Swirls of his humour, like chocolate, like warm custard, would treacle forward to sturdy up the shore after the storm. – Great image and picture. Warm Custard, excellent really good picture

  5. I enjoyed this. It reminded me of the opening scenes from While You Were Sleeping when Lucy talks of her favorite memories of her Dad. A very nice tribute.

  6. Lovely. I can really feel the little girl’s POV, the sometimes blind adoration we have for our fathers, and so sweet. Full of images and sensations, too. Really good work.

  7. Nicotine breath exploding in laughter, the world rejoiced in his fireworks,
    the teasing, the wordplay, the invented words.

    Reading can take us to a wonderful places, and how nice to share that love with your father. Mine is a family of readers, too.

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