Image for the poem paternal footprints

paternal footprints

“They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it.
Death cannot kill what never dies.”  William Penn  
In Memory of my Late Father, E. A. B., 1908 March-2007 March  
if i could hear him whistle once again,  
beneath the sweetwood tree, and smell the rain  
before it drizzles softly on the grass;    
if i could hear him hum amazing grace,  
while searching for that book he has misplaced;  
or catch the donkey’s bray along the pass  
as he comes home, his dunlop water boots  
tiptoeing past the tall banana shoots  
that form a guard-of-honour for his feet;  
i’d rush to meet him at the backdoor mat,  
in frivolous aplomb to start a chat  
and drink his laughter rich and full and sweet.  
i’d watch him don his dark-grey suit for church,  
my mother’s spike heels chasing in a lurch.  
perhaps i’d hear his layman’s preaching voice  
expounding counsels from the Holy Book,  
hoping my latest sins he’d overlook  
and pity me from corporal advice.  
i’d watch him ratify a neighbour’s will  
or pacify a man intent to kill  
his brother for their dad’s intestate land.  
i’d watch him lying, peaceful, on his bed,  
scarce breathing—though i’d know he was not dead,  
until the Lord relaxed his stiff right hand.  
© Copyright 2019 July 23  
by Clyve A. Bowen♫
Written by cabcool
Published | Edited 22nd Oct 2020
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