Thursday, 18 November 2010


My dad
Played with his kids
Back then
When it wasn’t much done
But play he did
Into the beach hut
Doors closed
All eyes watched
Ta Da!
Doors flung wide
He’d emerge
In his emerald swimming shorts
Too big and old old fashioned
Pick up the li-lo
Weightless, easy in his hands
And gather us three with no words
We ran behind him
Down the wooden steps
Crunch across the stones
Onto the soft sand
A big hand
To shield his eyes
Surveying the sea
Decision made!
Splash! The big man is in!  Up to his shoulders, no messing
He’d flick the salt water through his rhett butler hair
The ring on his little finger flashing in the sun
Four of us on the li-lo, four in a row
His weight on the back, keeping it down
The front rising to meet the waves
We’d crash and roll and fall into the brine
And come up spitting, climb back on
And go again and again into the waves
Him on the back
Keeping it down
Until it was over
He would snort and spit and run his fingers through his rhett butler hair
And turning, wade through the surf, his back to the sea
Across the soft sand
Crunch across the stones, up the wooden steps
To the beach hut
To wrap his giant body in a too small towel
None the less
He’d played
With his kids
When it wasn’t much done

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