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.
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