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Dad's Old Clothes
larrylark

That shirt
 1
with stripes, hiding,
 2
not wanting to be wrenched
 3
from between sheet and mattress.
 4
 
 
His world seems drenched
 5
in objects that began lives
 6
long ago, before his lifes sentence.
 7
Trousers frayed, barely held up,
 8
belt with extra holes needled in,
 9
while he'll stay vain,
 10
thin as a pin to the end.
 11
 
 
At the back of the top shelf
 12
in the tall boy, a ridiculous wig,
 13
paid for “On H.P.”
 14
that waved freely on top of his head,
 15
while he solemnly paraded his wife
 16
around ballroom places.
 17
 
 
Gaunt face, sucked in cheeks,
 18
Belsen body, smooth bottomed shoes
 19
that brought him down, cracked the ice
 20
and his hip joint, put him at the point
 21
of disappearing, yet back he came,
 22
and made me love him once again.
 23
 
 
When the end does finally come,
 24
he’ll fall off his spade, watering
 25
while mowing, into his pit,
 26
protesting between clenched teeth,
 27
while sucking his pipe,
 28
smoke seeping skywards from his box;
 29
while I, not believing he is mute
 30
will salute through silent tears
 31

H.P. Abbreviation of Hire Purchase uncommon in the 50's yet is now a sophisticated system of credit whereby people allow themselves to be robbed because they cannot wait to save up money to buy those absolutely essential baubles that litter their lives.

16 Jul 09


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Comments:

The footnote gave this away as one of yours larry :-) (and I agree with your definition wholeheartedly!)

I like this very much. If anything, I wish there was more. I might like a delineation of how he used to be before his "Belsen body" (great image) set in as a point of contrast.

Line 16 "when" in place of "while"?
Line 21-22 "put him at the point of disappearing" feels a little clunky

I love the last stanza. Not sure "watering while mowing" works. I think he should just be watering or mowing, but maybe not both at the same time! Or maybe digging up flowerbeds or planting bedding plants or something - I like the notion that you imagine him dying whilst mid-action but don't want to make suggestions when this is such a personal portrayal.

Lines 30-31 not entirely sure about "he is mute". I love the mute/salute rhyme but "he is mute" doesn't quite ring true. The rest of the poem stresses very much his visual appearance so perhaps an emphasis on the loss of "seeing" him would be more convincing? Just a thought.

I find this very moving.
 — smugzy

Dear Smugzy

My Dad is the original multi tasking man and does almost all that needs to be done in and round his house while caring for our invalided mother and all at the age of 89. I go round once a week to do their weekly shop and my brother does some of their bigger gardening jobs. If you want the secret of their longevity my friend i would have to say its a bowl of prunes eaten every day.

Thanks for the crit it was muchlee appreciated

Laryy gettint to be an old bastard in his own write Lark
 — larrylark

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