‘One of the old men fearing no man’ Thomas Yarnton of Tarlton by John Drinkwater
My Grandfather no longer ages.
In photos from family gatherings he stands
than the rest of us
our constant invariable.
Despite broken ribs,
not once but twice!
Despite the bull’s best efforts,
our urges to lessen the workload,
watch the races and leave the farming-
An old farmer never retires.
He doubles the size of the vegetable patch,
two new stables,
buys a flock of ewes
(and claims they’ll lamb themselves…
we all know they will not lamb themselves.)
To him, technology was foreign,
to prove the family wrong
he bought a laptop.
And taught himself to use it in six months.
(Though email still proves elusive
And the last text he sent me
My Grandfather is the same
as the man in my memories,
And even at my most feminist
I did not mind to be princess,
So long as it was my Grandfather’s princess.
My Grandfather is one of those old men fearing no man,
who does not age in photos,
and makes me brave,
when I remember
that his stubbornness
runs just as strongly through me.