I dream about my father. He’s young,
the goalkeeper for his regiment again, but
the pitch is pitted, covered in debris,
like a war zone.
I wake mindful that today anything could
happen, babies will be born, people will die.
I ring and tell him how much I appreciated
the fires he lit before I was out of bed,
all the school shoes he polished, the bacon
and eggs he cooked, the football matches
he took me to, how he managed to find
the exact balance between rules and freedoms
for me to flourish.
Silence is all he can muster – the opposition have
scored before he’d realised the ball was in play.
Finally, he gathers himself. He clears the ball to
the other end of the pitch: Isn’t it terrible news
about Charles and Di? Poor old Parker-Bowles.
He was in my regiment, you know.
Veronica Aaronson is the co-founder and one of the organisers of the Teignmouth Poetry Festival. Her work has been published widely in literary journals, online and in anthologies and she has won and been placed in several competitions. Her first collectionNothing About the Birds Is Ordinary This Morning was published by Indigo Dreams in 2018 and has been put forward for the 2020 Laurel Prize.