Dance with my father

My Dad

I used to look at him every morning

in his jammies trousers and t-shirt

sat in his chair, reading his paper.

 With his glasses


half way down his nose.

A far cry from the

well dressed, brylcreem haired

GIANT of a man

that he showed to the real world.

A man who modelled himself

on The Duke.

Permanently captured in pictures

with a relaxed stance,

a permanently lit cigarette

held down by his thigh.

Hands like hammocks –

one could cradle a baby

with ease.

A shepherd to his children,

who all tested him

but, he held fast like a rock.

Teenage rebellion

was nothing to him.

There was nothing he hadn’t seen before.

He stepped in as a role model

For my father-less daughters

There was always room in his flock

and his heart.

Born in an era

where men don’t say what they feel

or cry.

A soldier amongst men.

A wall of granite,

Too hard to knock over.

Now and then his bravado would slip

and show his true core.

He would swear,

leave the room,

compose himself

and come back –

a rock like before.

He taught us all to swim

by throwing us in the river.

Then stepped back to watch

as each of us learned

how to cope with life.

A discipline driven softie

that loved to socialise

with a drink in his hand.

Who made up stories about his scars;

and skelped your lug

when you deserved it.

I always thought he was invincible

until I watched him shrink.

Watched the life in his eyes recede,

Masked by pain.

But he was only human

A man

My dad.






5 thoughts on “Dance with my father

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