I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world,
to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

19 June 2015

Father Christmas

The little ones didn't know it was you.
You were on your way to be, as usual,
Santa to the crippled kids.
You'd been a crippled kid yourself,
and I guess those kids must have liked
a Santa with a limp. As for us,
we never even noticed. You don't notice
what you've grown up with, never any different.

You decided to come by our house
dressed up, a treat for the little ones.
I was big enough to know, and I knew
I must not tell. But I was nearly bursting,
jumping up and down, clinging to your arm.
'Oh Daddy!' I whispered through my grin.
'Daddy Christmas!' Mr Lightfoot next door said
very quickly, then whirled you away in his jeep.

The Lightfoots' new puppy ran after it, barking,
but my little brother and his best friend,
Roger Lightfoot, grabbed him. My mother
gave the puppy a biscuit. His name was Bingo.
He was black and tan. Then she gave us all
a biscuit — shortbreads out of the big red tin
she kept in the kitchen. She had on her new
teal coloured jumper over her pleated skirt.

I thought my Mum was prettier
than a film star. You thought so too.
Sometimes she sat on your lap
and you kissed her and sang:
'I'm half crazy, all for the love of you,'
and both of you laughed. But that day
was the last time I ever remember
all of us being so happy.

I suppose we had a good Christmas
two days later, but I don't remember.
I remember that day, and my little brother's face
shining. Father Christmas came to his house
and talked to him! I was mostly unable
to speak, my breath coming huge and fast.
I remember how red your costume was.
I remember you driving away.


Written for Poets United's Midweek Motif: Fathers. Based on an exercise in Wingbeats: Rube Goldberg Poems, by Oliver de la Paz.

10 comments:

  1. I can feel the love in these lines.. the fond & cherished memories.. and pride. I can picture the second stanza..it made me smile! Such a heart-warming and lovely tribute :D

    Lots of love,
    Sanaa

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  2. A last wonderful day, a secret. Oh how wonderful that so much love is evident before the drive away. Ouch. I bet he took Christmas with him, but I hope not forever.

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  3. I love the fourth stanza even though it ends on a sad note. A wonderful memory to hold onto.

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  4. love how fondly you've sketched the happiest moment to be cherished forever.....

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  5. 'You don't notice what you've grown up with, never any different' : this spoke to me in volumes..i believed in father Christmas until I was 12 - there wasn't much else to believe in..so many poignant images in this suggest that a kind father who comes once a year is better than some alternatives..beautifully written

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  6. I thought that was lovely. Well done.

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  7. I thought I commented on this but it must have been on facebook. I loved reading these wonderful memories.........the ending made me wonder what came next, that being the last time you remember being so happy..........

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  8. Told so well, Rosemary - lovely!!

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  9. This so beautifully told Rosemary.

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  10. Lovely poem, Rosemary. There are fond memories and sweet remembrance in the lines, but the last stanza also contains sadness and a parting that somehow feels so final...

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