HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD:
Mist rolls in over the far shore of the Volga at sunrise,
boats sleep at anchor, beautiful, peaceful, happy in my head.
Body wants to keep on dancing, ears ringing, faces smiling,
shaking hands & ‘thank you’s’. You know when you’ve done something
good, when even the security wants to convey their gratitude.
Check all the bones, everything’s still in place, the muscles,
tendons, all the joints doing what they should. Off stage at
3:30am, it’s getting light, breakfast on cheese sandwiches,
white sliced, lettuce, squeeze a couple of cheese & onion
Pringles in for crunch, times that by three. Mini Kit-kats,
a fat banana & water. Laughing, dazed, ‘did we actually just do
what I think we did?!’. These brothers, these familiar faces,
my tribe, my comfort & joy, pulled it off…again.
And was that you I caught from the corner of an eye between
buses waiting to take us to bed? You in colours so different
from anyone that I had to stop & look again & yes, it was you,
just standing there, happy, exploding joy, enough to be looking
as all your mates danced. I couldn’t just leave when you waving
your cell phone camera in hope, though normally I’d be gone.
But this time I was touched by your resemblance to someone
back on the island, who’s somewhere doing something with someone,
god knows who, but I’m hoping they’ll be as kind to her.
I put my bag down, smile & nod to your camera hit by the electric
your reaction, there’s a reward I never expected,
unseen by thousands, yet bigger than anything today & the security
guy, kind, gentle, offers to take the picture you can’t believe
is happening & neither can I. As we pull away I look back
& watch you jumping for bouncing showing the picture to your mates
& I hope that in some other field back on the island, someone is
being good to someone else.