My Favourite Poem
I have written lots of poetry over the years which is not something you would normally attribute to an ex-military man. I have always loved words and have used them to screen myself from pain on many an occasion during my life; the first of these being the death of my father. It’s just part of a coping mechanism and helps to make sense of hat has happened, or more specifically, how much the person meant to me in life and in death. I’m not going to suddenly become an open-toed sandle wearer with long straggly hair (if that is even an appropriate description of a poet), but I do enjoy poetry. To be honest, its just an extension of my character as a storyteller,
My father died 45 years ago, at the age of 45, and I think of him a lot. Last year was quite tough, as it would have been his 90th birthday, but also because he has now been dead longer than he was alive. It’s the only poem I have ever written that I just couldn’t post because it somehow felt that I would be acknowledging that he would never come back. That must sound crazy, and it is hard to explain why it felt that way, perhaps because I have always held him so close in my heart, so I could pretend it hadn’t really happened. As I sat and thought about this on Sunday, I realised that I needed to release my Dad’s birthday poem; here it is:
Happy Birthday Dad
What I would give to be able to say, Happy Birthday Dad, you’re 90 today,
Sadly, he was taken from us so many years ago, so it’s something I’ll never get to say;
My Dad was my hero and I wanted to make him proud, to be the best I could,
When I left home to join the Army, he told me not to worry, that if I did my best I would.
My Dad had been an orphan who’d lost his mum at birth, left all alone in life,
Brought up by kind people who gave him a home, and helped reduce his strife;
He knew what it was to have nothing, but it never got him down,
He lived his life with a smile on his face, he never wore a frown.
When he married and had his family, he worked so hard to be the best Dad,
To show us how to do things properly, to never be selfish, cruel or bad;
Kind and caring he taught us well, determined to give us everything he could,
He had lived a life with nothing, so he made sure we never would.
As a junior soldier I gave everything I had, I made it to boy RSM, so I did my best,
I wanted to show him that I could make it, and great training did the rest;
He never made it to see my proudest day, but he held my hand throughout,
In my mind he was there and his heart was filled with pride, of that I have no doubt.
When I sit and think of him my heart just bursts with pride,
Although he left us 45 years ago, he’s always by my side;
I hope my Dad is proud of me and how I’ve lived my life,
I know he would love my caring son and he knew my beautiful wife.
Sleep tight Dad, I will never forget you and know in my heart we’ll meet again,
With Mum by your side you’ll be waiting, and together forever we’ll all remain;
There’s so much time to make up, it’s been so many years,
But I know when I get there it will be happiness not tears.