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 copy of you trailing along in your footsteps like a lone seagull following in the wake of some great ship of state watching the water burn '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.