This was a poem I wrote about a year after my father died, in his memory. The image of the half-mown lawn was one I had long intended to write into a poem, but the recollection prompted by the incident at the end was the spark that got the poem written & thus a sad memory got sandwiched between two happy ones.
"Please, Daddy, can you mend my coach?"
Me. Aged five. At the airport. Clutching broken toy.
You, ever the patient father,
Tired from your business trip, complied.
Thirty years passed, and then you died,
Mowing the lawn. For three days I stared out of the window
At the mower's slanting swathe across the uncut grass,
Marking your last path.
Then started it up again, continuing your work.
Felt your last moments in the vibrations of the handle.
Knew your last conscious act;
To halt the mower and save your precious lawn.
Then yesterday, you came to me again,
Through my five-year-old's broken toy,
And for a few moments that spanned the gap of all those years,
I solemnly enacted the sacrament
Of mending a plastic ambulance.