For Dad

By Barbara Glynn


He sits alone

All day

Three feet

From the Movie Channel

Sometimes

It drives him mad


He dislikes

what he calls

the black nurse

In the day centre

And mimics him

Clapping his hands


“very good, very good Paddy

now lift your left leg”


The only orders this old man could ever follow

Were those

for the pints and the chasers

Down Parkgate street

During his meticulous years


That man could move then

He leans forward

As if I’m deaf


That home help

is absolutely useless”

He repeats over and over

Another non tip

Smoulders to it’s stinking end


How’s the boy he asks for the third time

Fine I answer very time

And “how’s that fella what’s ‘is name”

Guilherme, Dad, Guilherme

He’s gone back to Portugal

I told you last month


He gazes back at the monochrome Shirley Temple

And sees her for the first time again

Lights another cigarette

with all his might


Would you like a cup of tea Dad?

His eyes move to the window for a weather check

Wouldn’t mind a pint” he muses with another deep pull of the blue haze


Would you like to go out?

“I’d love to go out”

He replies first with his eyes


Right then

Just let me water those Blooms