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Remembering Dad... (standard:poetry, 375 words)
Author: CyranoAdded: Nov 29 2007Views/Reads: 1744/0Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
...a hero in a child's life.

‘You should have been here yesterday' he said, ‘she was sitting on that
rock yonder.' 

Few visitors get to this corner of the beach, even at low tide. There
are no inns nearby, no collectable shells hidden in the rough glassy 
sand. I come here all the time to meet with my father. He was never a 
seashore person, didn't know anything about early morning ebbs, spider 
crabs or seahorses. He was a military man in his youth, and later 
preferred tinkling with engines than scrambling over dunes, the sea 
oats and beach grass slapping his legs. 

I'm his eldest son, a dreamer, sometimes living in an Elizabethan era,
sometimes sitting on the rings of Saturn thinking only in black and 
white, so discussion was sometimes difficult.  I always imagine he will 
say that opening sentence to me, teasing my talent in some way, 
inviting me into a story that he had made up. 

But dad was a John Wayne man, action hero, and after a workday he'd
watch television to relax. I can't recall him reading a newspaper at 
home. He did have a pile of western paperbacks to escape into, leave 
the humdrum of his life to become a hero. Dad was a hero, taking care 
of his children, working at providing without the use of a six-shooter. 

‘I don't know about this, son.'  He says, ‘I've only seen mermaids on
camper doormats or pub mirrors.'  He seems so out of place, so insecure 
sitting on a rock beside a restless, energetic ocean.  He doesn't suit 
the wearing of shorts, or the Tilley hat on his head after a life lived 
in coverall, hands caked in oil and grease. 

I imagine him here because this is my gift to him. Who I am. His
daydreaming son. I show him laughing gulls, the old coastguard station, 
and the lighthouse I use for my signature. This is my shore, dad, this 
is where to find me. Everything here happens grain by grain, one wave 
at a time coming ashore endlessly. The shoreline doesn't end, it merely 
changes shape and tomorrow we'll walk a wider shoreline and he'll say: 

‘You should have been here yesterday.' 

I was, Dad, all your yesterdays. Thank you for loving me.


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