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I remember your hand, so firm and so strong.
Mine, tiny inside, as I scampered along.
Ice cream and winkles, games on the sand,
Always secure in the warmth of your hand.
Riding my trike, a tough homeward ride
Your hand on my shoulder, as always, to guide.
When little legs wearied (the road was too steep)
You lifted me up on your shoulder, to sleep.
All this I remember, my Father, and more,
How your hand took mine at my wedding-day door.
You handed me over, to start a new life
Always your daughter, but now someone’s wife.
And so I grew up, but also apart,
A wife and a mother, my over-filled heart
Never forgot you, but never found time,
Always tomorrow, and that was my crime.
Always too busy , each day the same
“I’ll visit tomorrow”, which of course, never came.
And so we are here, once again, hand in hand,
Sterile white sheets have replaced golden sand.
Your hand is so frail inside mine, now the stronger,
Whispered goodbyes, I wish we had longer
To say all the things, that never were said-
The boil of emotions , astorm in my head..
Strangers we seem, but then years slip away,
I remember once more, a toddler at play.
The shrivelled and shrunken, and wheezing and pain
Are just an illusion, you’re Dad once again.
Buckets and bicycles, stories and snow,
All are the man that I loved, long ago.
Distance and duty had robbed me, it’s true,
Of time in your presence, but never of you.
As I look down at your time-wearied skin
I have to say something, but where to begin?
It would have been easy, if stranger you stayed,
My heart was content with the trick time had played.
The words will not come, your hand lets me know
Your heart understands, but that now, you must go
On this final journey, hands smoothing the way,
I look at my Father, as he slips away.
©Kay Stevens 2015
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