A poem I started in 2010 and finished yesterday…


My Father’s Crashes


We could tell by the engine

When my father’s truck was home.

The diesel engine would vibrate

The windows as he reversed in.


My mother would boil the kettle at 5pm

Knowing he would arrive.

Three times in five years he did not

Arrive on time.


One time back-ended by a Lotus

That shattered like an Xmas bauble.

He spent half an hour prising glass fibre shards

From the wheel arch.


Another time he and my Uncle John

Arrived ashen faced.

Drank tea before they talked.

Both cheated death as a car span toward them.


Finally he retired and bought a smaller van

But grew tired of working then grew tired

As the cancer ate away his stomach.

My mother made tea at five pm every day just the same.


Until one day he didn’t make it.