Becoming The Man My Father Always Was

by Dónall Dempsey (b: 1956 in the Curragh of Kildare, Ireland)
Each night
I would follow you

through the rituals
of what you had to do

being Daddy.

I wanted to be Daddy too.

Mimicking your gait
becoming an exact

of you

trailing along
in your footsteps

like a lone seagull
following in the wake

of some great ship
of state

watching the water

'til it was all bubbles

then letting it
calm down

before filling my mother's
hot water bottle

carrying it to her side
like a lover's gift.

I was
your little shadow.

She'd always smile:
'Thank you Danny!'

That's alright love
was always the answer.

These the ritualistic words
in the hot water bottle ceremony.

Then he'd teach the clock
to bong

adjusting it with his hands
and wind up Time

so that it spit tick & tocks
all through the night

then go lock doors
turn keys
draw bolts

'That's it son!'

I used to imagine
being you

and now I am
my own man

winding up Time

bringing my missus
the gift of a hot water bottle

(the gift of me)

'Thank you Donall!'
she always smiles

'That's all right love!'
I always answer.

Me the man
I am

because of you.  

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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