The following was delivered as an elegy at Victor’s funeral on the 2nd of August, 2016.
Dad as dad
My father's hands were warm,
Dry and sinew-striped.
Huge, they swallowed mine.
His grip thrilled and thwarted me,
Twirling me over ageing paving,
He chuckled: I feigned, straining,
dodging the pretended danger- Of stepping on the cracks.
These hands would protect me, I knew,
from bruises, boredom and the wrath of nursery rhyme bears.
When finally retreating from rising tides,
drunk with the hysteria of crabbing,
they dashed obstinate grains (almost painlessly)
from our writhing, sand-smothered feet.
They scrittered notes on index cards,
And tapped triumphant initials into Pinball leaderboards.
They persecuted carpet moths
and (with a flourish of joy)
Released spawn-raised froglets into hidden ponds.
I'd grasp his left hand, greedily,
across frantic roads
and at moments of affection, delight or fear.
Later, I held it more gently, where it laid.
(-Just breathe, Dad)
My own hands had grown larger and could protect him, I thought,
from morphine-terrors and hospital food,
from bedsores, loneliness and sorrow
My father's hands held the world out to me:
-Look, Lovey It's a gift for us,
Adore it, Darling,
It's a curse, so we must.