Thursday 17 March 2016

For Dad (A Poem)

Wheeling gulls enfold the tractor
like feathered confetti.
My father, head half-turned,
To keep the furrow straight,
Is dwarfed by the immensity
Of the paddock he has ploughed.
To my child’s eye,
The birds’ raucous accolade
Is well-deserved:    

My dad did that.

Sweat and blood and dust
Concoct a powerful remedy
For the dislocation
Of abandoned pastures:
The apprehension of new fields.
Lodged deep beneath the skin,
Close to the heart,
The quickened earth will find
A new way to speak.

My dad did that.

Discovering a grimy sack
Of be-mudded spuds.
Depression-era currency,
Deposited without ceremony,
At a country doctor’s back door.
Feeding my father’s early respect
For the raw honesty of the poor.
Heirlooms of a nation’s history,
These stories, passed down.
My dad did that.
The ravelling and
Unravelling of family.
A cast replenished –
Even as its heroes leave the stage.
The father’s trick,
To so play his part that,
In his children’s eyes,
He seems to grow larger
With every backward glance.
My dad’s done that. 

Chris Trotter
11 March 2016.

This poem is exclusive to Bowalley Road. 


Grant said...

Well done.The right things said in the right way. Thanks for sharing this.

Victor said...

Well said, Chris.

May your father's heritage prove a source of strength to you in the years ahead.

And when grief abates, as, in time it will, may you bask in the pale but enduring sunlight of your memories of him.

Nick J said...

Beautiful tribute Chris. My father is of the same vintage, how we get through I don't know but that's a lovely response.

Olwyn said...

A very moving tribute to your Dad Chris, and a lovely comment from Victor as well.

greywarbler said...

Tony Trotter, fine writer, thinker, media man.
Chris Trotter, fine writer and thinker also.
Your father, and mother, did that.
Thank you to your Dad for leaving us a fine legacy.

homepaddock said...

This and your previous post are beautifully worded and moving tributes to your father. We don't usually refer to adults as orphans but the loss of a parent at any age is hard. My sincere sympathy to you and yours. Ele Ludemann

Anonymous said...

such beautiful sentiments to your father