My Grandfather

‘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

taller

than the rest of us

our constant invariable.

Despite broken ribs,

eleven,

smashed sternum,

destroyed spleen,

punctured lung,

fracture wrist,

cardiac arrest

not once but twice!

Despite the bull’s best efforts,

our urges to lessen the workload,

relax,

take time,

watch the races and leave the farming-

An old farmer never retires.

He doubles the size of the vegetable patch,

rebuilds fences,

two new stables,

buys a flock of ewes

(in lamb)

(and claims they’ll lamb themselves…

we all know they will not lamb themselves.)

To him, technology was foreign,

but,

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

was

blank.

Still.

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.

4 Comments

    1. It should do. I’m not really an expert on re-blogging, but I’m glad you liked it so much and feel free to re-blog, as long as my name and website are attached I really don’t mind. 🙂
      My condolences about your grandfather.

    1. Thank you. I’ve been trying to write a poem about him for a while, but my attempts never seemed to do him justice. John Drinkwater’s quote seemed simply perfect when I read Thomas Yarnton of Tarlton and from there I managed to write something that I was content with.

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