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Barry Tebb Poems
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MY FATHER by Barry Tebb
I had a father once, the records say.

He has gone away down the long avenue

Of death, on the hand-held minor no mist

Of his breath, his firm signature no more.

No more holding down his hat in the wind,

Running to catch the last post, he has gone

Beyond the wind-shaped stones on the high wall.

His breath in that final coma came steady.

Stertorous, the oxygen mask, the catheter,

The telephone call summons and night train,

The taxi over the moors, the charge nurse

With little to say but kind words.

I had a father once, the records say,

Who carried me on the cross-bar of his bike

Down Knostrop: we saw the white bells

Of bindweed crawling with ants

Strangle the rusty railings.

My father, a quiet man, never knew what

To say, which is why he was taken

And I was not told and the records say

It was pneumonia that took him

And I was not told why the anti-biotics

Were not given.
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