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Andy Kirkpatrick

14 October 2015

Poem to a son

Who are you
My son
Half-way-man. Riddle. Who goes there
Knock-on-wood I do
Fourteen times
As into that head hard I try to see,
Through soft greasy hair that over once
Measuring jug
Eyes battened down against the suds
Water elbow hot I poured.
Robbed from a long emptied bath, in a long emptied house in a life I could not sustain.

Who are you
My son
Poor Boy, your affliction
Cut cloth, chalk marks astray

— distracted —

Am I a riddle to you too
Love me do ya I often wonder
Do I love you
I wonder if you wonder too,
That time you told me you were scared,
Hard father who’s only way is up
Instead laid in the shade, me sat grumpy close but with no hug of understanding. 
“It’s OK” I should have said.
No disappointment could you ever be to me
Only me to you, a dad I sometimes feel undeserving
Who just wants you to know
that I do.

Who are you
My son
Question I can answer
As together, on Space Mountain
Our mountain, the only one we need to have climbed
I almost choked with tears
As — the carriage dropped — I heard you behind me
A sound
No teenage grunt
Nor cool sedation
But laugher
Bright as lightning
Fresh as the daisies
Like you once made, long ago
Fourteen knocks back
Atop my shoulders
As I squeezed your baby legs
My boy.



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