My Father, obiit 1975
you were here tonight, if you should come
Expectedly to stay,
We would talk a little about the world,
More about your grandchildren, much
About your father and how
You loved his steadiness,
His knowledge of horses, dogs and soil,
But most about our old holidays,
My mother’s ways of charming us,
Your jokes, your dances once,
The cricket fields of very long ago.
And tomorrow, if the wind were right,
I’d drive you to the hills.
We’d walk a mile about their tops
Turning the vale beside us,
Your bird sight tracing how
We had threaded fields and woods
To come up there.
We would see the old graves,
The green forts on the downs,
The farms like castles and the sun
Going westward like our journeyings together
In the fifty years that we have nearly shared.
I could find the way up there and home again
And the rooms would be warm for you,
If you were to come.