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darren thomas


The Spirit of Grandad Bill


Thirty six years of a summer sun

have faded the gloss of fishing boats

but the sea grass still sways

just like he said it always would.



I see a mustard coloured cardigan

a straw hat and impeccable trousers

and the glint of three shiny mackerel

held aloft with the orange twine of fishermen

by a boy with dried sea spray on his one

and only chin.



Give us a wave Bill!

Then the whirl from an old fashioned camera

from a silhouette standing at a harbour

and a Grandfather and his boy waving into the sunshine

with their hairless hands and beaming smiles of relief.



I see the uneven steps leading from the water

worn by the feet of fathers and years of tide

and I see his toes through brown open sandals

and watch as he climbs into shadows of

those sitting with their legs dangling

over the groans of swooping gulls.



I see the seats of scattered lobster baskets

and know that here is where he sat.

I see that sail of starched handkerchief

that he pulled from a pocket in the breeze

and I feel that same stroke of good fortune

as it gathers in the knees of fisherman

now eating the end of an old clay pipe

feeding three bending fish into the smile of a seal

and memories into the mind of a child.

Submitted: Monday, April 08, 2013
Edited: Wednesday, October 09, 2013

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