A Treasured Life

Me n my Dad

My Dad and Me

It was so sad

to watch you fade

your mind as sharp as a knife

It was so hard

to say goodbye

To such a treasured life

It made me smile

to think on you a while

and on how you loved

your wife

Your children given

all you had

you gave

a treasured life

It seems that you

are still here

although you can’t

be seen

I often talk to you

And not just

in my dreams

I hope I told you

I loved you enough

I hope you know

how much I cared

And I know

one day,

I’ll see you again

Somewhere over there…

© Kait King, 2015

The gift is Home

our family

Nothing says home like the food you know, the smells that trigger head movies and the comforting arms and hands that picked you up and helped you mix and stir and “help” cooking when you were a kid. They now welcome you back into the fold, embrace your grown-upness but still visualised as the child, as you will always be. Family time is noise in the kitchen, clattering dishes and chattering mouths – we women of many words create more warmth with our talking breath, better than the lukewarm sun does, trying to impress us through a shameless glass. The men, young and old – three generations of my blood, gather around the finger food that has been laid out to stop them from starving before the main meal…if you believe that, you will believe anything.

My father, the patriarch, his unwilling body fighting his sharp, determined mind – his sharp, determined mind that used to beat his body has put its hands up and retreated. His brain is stronger than anything else, bar maybe his heart. He peers over his heavily framed glasses all the better to see a watch face his grandson has handed him to look at. His 80 year old eyes squint and recognise, the information is swift and he says the battery is a blah blah…..his mind as sharp as a knife. His son-in-law hands him a glass of wine which he carefully holds, the glass is heavy and cumbersome to him, due to his muscular dystrophy. He already can’t lift the glass to his lips but our mother brings straws with them so that he doesn’t have to.

His grandson, Jay, is a loud kid and is learning to pull his head in, but does show signs of promise with his unresearched fury at certain injustices. Maybe the same way my father felt about all of those things 60 years or more ago. My father brought all of us up to question everything, accept nothing at face value and to take risk in a positive way. He had a strong sense of what was right and fair and he brought four crusaders into the world to carry on that legacy. Give a shit, the majority of the population won’t – so you just have to. It’s your duty as a human being with the gift of life on this earth…

I remember you Dad

I remember you Dad

I remember being only

knee-high to a grasshopper

and you would twirl me around

you let me stand on your feet

and danced with me

while I clutched at your

chino trousers or

the creases on your business suit

You never minded

we always danced

I remember pouring your drink

two fingers of Glen Morangie

two fingers being my index and little

but not really

I mixed that whiskey with two blocks of ice

and a dash of chilled water

I remember how you would savour it

in the South African sunlight

at the end of your day

I remember the love of words and animals

you gifted to us all

your funniness

and sense of justice

I remember you telling me

to eat my crusts

so that I would grow hair on my chest

and I did – eat them, not grow hairs on my chest…

I remember you used to type

business letters on my belly

and I was an old typewriter with a runner

and a “ding!”

which tickled the hell out of me

“Dear sir” you would type

I’m shrieking with delight

And the photo’s that I have

I remember you Dad

© Kait King, 2015

With love and dedication to my incredible father – the walking Encyclopaedia, the uncapped academic – I miss you, we all do xxx