Through My Daddy's Eyes

Nothing as easy as a heart attack
or something remote and foreign,
cramming the minds of doctors
who had travelled the length of England,
but a bleeding into the brain that resembled
drunkennes and so they sent you home.
You drank the stock of my Mother's eyes
left alone with children, her own life occupied
by the present and the certitude of them growing,
expecting pleasures of their own.
she served you well, still here now at 70 expecting
what there must have been to expect had you not gone,
had you given over with pints that began at six,
your hair swept back, a Woodbine in the corner
of your mouth, that attitude of years in collision
that brought about nothing but dismay.

Each night when the pub doors closed you
would bang the door, your key too deep within
your pocket to free, this the sound
of the beginning of ills that would temper the night,
falling down counting change from your pocket
for another evening, tomorrow, Guinness
the only thin in mind
as you sleep where you fall
on the hard carpet of the kitchen
where the dog sleeps.

Now I am fastened into blackness,
my Mother just dead, you dead years ago,
the black of your pints finding encouragements
that would cut you down, the wry master
of destinies never mentioning concerns
or the crooked rivalry of one on one
that would bring about sweet love
never asked for.  But you did no care,
or seemed not to, the only smile,
the only laugh after beer, I alone with
my whisky bottle now remembering you.

And I can think of nothing special about you,
you my father, the one who was meant to matter;
I can think of nothing at all, following the bad weather
of my Mother gone, the one absolute that made
smiles, the one passion who for years
heard you swear that you ought never to have married,
the children a grace you could never have held, his pint
missing at six, through his eyes the passing of years absolute
he didn't want, the huge mistake of being there having
made its own respite, falling somewhere
it was never meant to be, but grew just
the same, this the final moment of promises,
looking through my Daddy's eyes
for the very first time, the world turned blue
the night-sky's ridge of blanketing
covering stars, a cole emotion of oceans calling
detailing yesterdas as thougha dream happened
far away with noting left to think of, each moment
of expectation sounded until the end,
vainglorious seconds of seclusion moving
somewhere ought of sight as if nothing

had ever ended.

John Cornwall

If you've any comments on his poem, John Cornwall would be pleased to hear from you.