Something To Remember Your Dad By
Your sister writes and yes,
unwrapping the leather purse
and inhaling its sharp sweet fibres,
I remember how your Villa scarf
draped claret and blue
around the cubbyhole peg.
I remember your slippers,
overcoat, a crumpled hanky
that fell from its sleeve
all parcelled in tobacco-tang
long after you’d smoked
your final cigarette.
This purse you made
during the war, convalescent
from the pneumonia
that almost killed you.
You scored and stitched it
for your own Dad,
brought it home one weekend.
Perhaps he used it straight off,
counted coppers onto the bar
and you shared pints,
Woodbines, family news, the air
a sharp sweet fug as hours slid
away like beer down a glass.
Sunday came before you could blink,
the purse warm in his inside pocket
and you on Snow Hill’s
sandbagged platform, time to spare
before the night train’s judder and hiss.
Sheila Jacob lives in North Wales with her husband. She was born and raised in Birmingham and resumed writing poetry in 2013 after a long absence. She is frequently inspired by her working-class ‘50’s childhood. Her poems have been published in a number of U.K. magazines and webzines. Last year she self-published a small collection of poems dedicated to her Dad who died when she was almost fifteen.