Our Dad

A poem I wrote 20 years ago for my dear Dad.

Our Dad

You all know him 

with his black wavy hair,

Loads of new clothes 

mum would force him to wear.

Cardies and chinos 

with shiny new shoes,

‘Kitted out again,’

in royal and pale blues.

‘Do it and say nowt,’

and, ‘No bet today,’

Just a couple of sayings 

our dad used to say.

Funny really,

when you stop to think,

He never really did much, 

he was always on the brink.

And, as for his betting, considering he didn’t bet,

There was a lot of time trying

to get the winner in the net.

Mum used to try get him 

into the room,

Instead of the kitchen,

alone in the gloom.

You have to be kidding, 

he wouldn’t move an inch, 

He was always stubborn, 

nothing was a sinch.

If it wasn’t his idea,

you could forget it right off,

For a quiet fella ,

he wasn’t that soft.

Like not moving house 

or holidays in Blackpool

There was no point arguing, 

it was an unwritten rule.

He used to like bowling,

lining up the Jack,

A keen eye on the fareway 

and watching the track.

He’d come home triumphant, 

win, lose or draw,

He’d shout, ‘Well bowled lad!’ before he got to the door.

Thumbs up at gran’s, 

with Jack by his side,

So he’d lost, no matter, 

‘twas only a white lie.

New Burley and The Haddon were regular stops,

Conny and the Queenswood 

until the acts were all flops.

You’d see him on the dance floor,

fox trot and Stones,

Little Red Rooster 

loosening up his old bones.

He’d take us to the park 

and teach us to catch,

Fast bowling his forte, 

with no one to match.

Kirkstall Abbey and Ilkley,

short cuts and all,

Dodging cow clap 

and having a ball.

Caring and generous

with all of us nippers,

He used to give Jack

his worn out old slippers!

Julie will tell you

about her Communion Day,

Giving her dripping, 

just a short delay!

He was always hard working 

in his work boots and drills,

Smelling of machinery

and greasy oil spills.

Waiting for Fridays 

for pop night and sweets,

Bar Six and Mars Bars 

our usual treats.

We used to play cards, teaching Raz this one thing,

You count to 10

then it’s Jack, Queen, King.

Now Sue was his favourite, 

if there was such a thing,

In her little eyes

he was simply the King.

He was posh sometimes too, little finger aloft,

Sipping his tea

until the handle fell off!

Little did he know,

it had been broken by Jue,

And stuck back together

with some superglue!

He liked to come home 

and sometimes for tea

Chitterlings and tripe,

can you believe?

Shifting snow all year round was something he did,

Daft little jokes

as he just liked to kid.

Doctor Who and Batman 

would die every week,

Us kids would be worried 

till we saw his smiley cheek.

Playing Lego with grandkids, whether they wanted to or not,

Giving them ideas 

and telling them what’s what.

Taking mam to the bingo,

The Western and club,

Marking his cards 

and paying his sub.

Laughing with friends 

and drinking some beer,

A win here and there

would all raise a cheer.

The years of laughter 

and good times we had,

Moments to cherish 

so don’t now be sad.

Capstans and Polos 

and coins in the ashtray,

Sitting in his rocker 

for most of the day.

He was one in a million 

and we’ll always be glad,

We’re four lucky kids, 

he was our special dad.

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