Shaun William Hayes

(May 30th / The edge of the New Forest, UK)

How Shall I Remember You, My Father

This man who grew in Ireland's tearful times
When England, whose leaders went untried
For all their manifold war crimes,
Finally relinquished their spiteful grip
And Ireland suffered still because of it

And so you grew, through all those leaner times
By Christian brothers you learned your lines (by God you did)
Then to the butcher there to learn without a pay
Except for when your Saturday
Was also spent in service to O'Rourke

Your father, by whose hand your were raised
Put you on the drums whilst still a lad
Your short pants an embarrassment
When local lasses giggled at your knees

The army butcher you became
And lost the carriage one fine day
When the spirited horse did rear and bolt
The carriage wrecked - but you walked away

Then onto the ships and Lizzie one
To second butcher you'd become
Until in Southampton you met Helen, our Mum
And married her

You sired five healthy children then,
Though fathering was not your suit
Too many ghosts I do suspect, unlaid till now you be laid as well
So you worked hard and played away, upon your drums
And we grew up and made the best with mum

So many things we learned but were not taught
So many errors carried down the line
But now as I reflect on you and on my self
I see how blind we all can be, and also now
I see the child you were, the child named James

A perfect soul born without the scourge of blames
I touch that spirit now within my heart
And find my own, as all the fleeting shadows now depart
I know you are my Dad and I your Son
So let us join, a moment now, before we part

Submitted: Thursday, May 03, 2012
Edited: Monday, June 30, 2014
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