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Father in Law

He had no garments old or new 
that didn’t have a hole burnt through
from sparks when he lit up his pipe
and nearly set himself alight.
Smoke rituals in his old car
began when we set off not far
to visit Truro’s small town charms
on Wednesdays when from all the farms
the ruddy faces and flat caps
descended on the town perhaps
to share a pint or tea with wives
as antidote to lonely lives.

He’d park the car in Lemon Street
at bottom where we’d have a treat
of cake and coffee laced with chat
about a future he hoped that
might see us settled close at hand
with the grandchildren he had planned,
yet though he knew I would away
to Cumbrian hills upon the day
I qualified children to teach
he put the means within my reach
of self belief and energy
to be the man that i would be.

Yet these foundations that he laid
had in them no contentment made
for him, who as a family man
was separated by a span 
of tarmac miles the countries length
to sap his age diminished strength
on visits to those Northern climes
laden with tokens of his time
spent planning to express his joy
in one small fair haired little boy,
his first grandchild maintained the line
of thread connecting binding time.

So by degrees my first resolve
to as a mountain man evolve
became diluted by the pull 
to holiday in Cornwall, full
of strengthened bond to sail and sea
and his love of my family.
In the rectory and its grounds
we tested new life to be found
where two small brother boys would know
and feel the care that he’d bestow,
new life on Cornwall's granite rock 
aside the shepherd of our flock

Copyright © | Year Posted 2017

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