Saturday, September 6, 2014

Happy Father's Day (Boat Yard)

Here in Australia (and the UK too), it's Father's Day.   As has become something of a tradition for me, I'm celebrating on my blog with a poem from the father focused book of poetry that Carolyn Howard-Johnson and I wrote together titled Imagining the Future. This year's poem is the poem that gave the book its title, and was inspired by an image (which now graces the cover) that my uncle took of my grandparent's boat yard where they lived when I was growing up.  The photo was taken long after they moved away and conveys both the stark beauty of the place, and its abandonment - something left in memory, snow covered and still.  When my grandparents lived there, the boat yard was always warm, noisy, and full of sunlight and freshly prepared food aromas. The poem was written for my grandfather Sam, who was something of a father figure for me.  Happy Father's Day all you wonderful fathers, father's fathers, and father figures.  You're far more loved and appreciated than your children (and grandchildren) tend to articulate. 

Boat Yard

Walking the fuzzy line
between deference and defiance
a cold wind opens the door
you slide
into frictive fictive

Holding onto your absent body
too tightly
I find something
a heart once broken
beneath my own chest.

The snarl of your lip
against kindness in your eyes
how odd to find you
still supportive
so many years after you disappeared.

Snow covers everything
not enough for fairytale glitter
just desolate dust
darkening teal on the horizon
and water
always water
together we swim
through a remembered past
imagining the future.

1 comment:

  1. Love this, Magdalena. Keeps us Yanks on our toes. Happy Father's Day! Your readers may want to know that I just updated the paper version to include the listing of all our Celebration Series in the back matter. Go to