Glass Half Full

This poem is dedicated to my dad.

My mother, your wife,
often sighs, in exasperation,
how two so alike, could dislike,
each other so intensely.

Reluctantly I realize,
she's right about
Our shared stubborness;
Our firey tempers,
Our particular steeliness,
a determination that drives us,
with single minded strength.

Though I criticize your absence,
It was that very absence that funded
the foundation of my childhood security.
Soft toys and soft hugs,
School trips, tea and chips,
Caravan camping and loving laughter.
Provided from your pay-packet.

It was far from these creature comforts you reared yourself.
Summers spent sweating
in the blistering heat,
slaving to save
for your schoolbooks.
Day and Night flooded by your father's,
splintered glass and drunken disorder.

Stories mentioned, never told.
Understanding drips
like wine from an opaque bottle,
that never flows into
your eternally empty glass.

You, of course, make light of it,
Recalling, with a certain sarcasm,
the whisky whipped out,
from unusual locations.
Car boot, shed shelf.
But when you chuckle, I see a weariness,
that seeps past bone and muscle.
Little boy, hungry,
in a house with too many mouths to feed.

Somewhere, imprinted,
upon my subconscious,
is that resoluteness,
As we both say, "no thank you",
to the devil's juice at dinnertime.

The End

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