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Blow

the silence of rain
through double-glazing
the tick of a clock

‘It doesn’t matter anymore,’ he says with his back to me.

He was looking out of the bay window when I got out of the car and waved and I thought he hadn’t seen me. ‘Dad, I thought about calling you back,’ I say, ‘but it was late when I got in and I didn’t want to wake you.’

He parts the net curtain as if something in the street has caught his attention.

‘Look, I’m sorry. If I’d known it was such a big thing I would have called.’

He turns round at this. ‘A big thing? I’m not “a big thing”…’ and his voice breaks.

When did my dad get so old? He walks in small tight steps, wears two cardigans to keep warm. He calls me if his newspaper is late.

I walk over to him and put my arm around his shoulders. ‘Dad, c’mon,’ I say, ‘you know I love you. You know that.’ He trembles like a child caught in the rain.

When I was little he always had a hankie for me. He’d press the smooth cotton to my nose and say, ‘Blow’. I search in my bag and hand him what he needs for now.

dad’s slippers
shuffle along the path
windfalls

Blue Tattoo November 2007

Comments

  1. Love it. The move from prose to haiku is just big enough for there to be resonance. And it's all so true. And unsentimental. I love the fact that you make no attempt to tell the reader what "the big deal" was.

    (ps – I'm a Glam Girl too, also taught by Gillian. Cohort '03-05)

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