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His daily round, walk cemetery,

as gravely reading dates inscribed,

while preying birds wheeled overhead.

Full in the limelight, right on cue,

winged angel, entrance from near flats,

his home-help, apron-clad, took stage.

Disabled, VAT-free, table top,

pearl barley broth, bap rolled for lunch,

just like soup kitchen, bowls he served.

Cheap frames, lens numbered, chemist’s shelf,

each year he upped, by unit, one,

for focus, better, on the price.

A guppy man, aquarium,

as midwife to live-bearing kind,

warm aqua vitae, ardent watched.

With gravel voice rehearsing terms,

for conversation on the phone,

though pressing buttons hit and miss.

On tap, computer on his lap,

detention poet, writing lines,

not archetypal armchair chap.

Voracious reader, rheum draped eyes,

his racks spoke volumes, interests,

gold blocked, spine locked - he could not reach.

Most books were ledged, despite their space,

though some unleaved, a collage built,

each tome some tale from memory.

That waddle of tuxedo page,

took him through teenage, fed him texts,

that penguin bird of literature.

With orange, blue and classic range,

but now, past future on the shelf,

through time and place in unity.

His only tipple, way to bed,

when glass hit floor as he his head,

but balanced sense, he climbed to kneel.

He sank his teeth in that same glass,

committed grand kids to the Lord,

and grinned back, gummy, settled snore.

And that was Dad, till moorings slipped

free from that jetty, ferryman,

a one-way tip gripped in his hand.

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