Any place we drove to it seemed that Dad

could always show us the roundabouts, roads,

or paving he had once had a hand in,

back in the days he had worked much harder.


When he’d made his money and packed work in

he lost his sense of what to do with time,

moped around, got grumpy, and sent me out

to the ‘offie’ to refill his flagon.


A ‘man’s man’ my mother said, who needed

a joke to keep him going, and something

to get him up in the morning besides

a late stroll to place his bets at Coral.


Once I’d married he told me that the years

he’d grafted to feed us all were the best

ones he had known, but how before too long

I’d learn that no one’s indispensable.


So after he’d botched a shed, dug the pond

and built a rockery, the time was ripe

for change. With a clapped out van and a mate

he started again on small extensions.


Marking out the footings or laying slabs

was all a matter of lines and levels.

You stretched a cord to breaking point and then,

to keep it true, you flicked it free of snags.








◄ Aretha Franklin

A Waldorf Salad ►


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Graham Sherwood

Thu 18th Dec 2014 12:19

The last line is wonderful. A simple description of expertise.
Loss of one's place is a difficult issue to deal with,and watching the change in our parents can be similarly difficult.

A lovely idea.



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