A poem I wrote a few years ago. About my Dad. Who died 15 years ago today.
In the rear view mirror, a figure appears Catching us unaware. Unfamiliar, tentative approach … then two, three, four of them. My sister’s pen pal and his friends. All ‘ou est’s ‘ and ‘est ce que’s?’ The writer of those flowery, foreign letters is here. In our back street!
Dad, dirty hands, peers over the bonnet, directs them back the front way And sensing an emergency, is quickly on to it. Me, dispatched to the market, ‘Be quick, it’s 5 already. French sticks, They’ll like them. Chicken legs and spring onions.’ Best I can get.
Four French, young men peruse the front room Of a terraced house, All stretch covers and backless TV set. Inadvertently listen to Dr Who fathoming the universe wisely, before Brucie sees us nicely into a Saturday evening, somewhere in the late 1970s.
‘Ere is your food. You eat’. Dad sweeps his hands grandly. We watch from the doorway, Our four new French guests attempt to tuck into their food and marvel at this mini, multi-cultural moment. Their eyes on ours, one tries to speak, but the French sticks, In his throat.