I sussed it. Walter Weasel painted the statue because he let slip the colour – red, and PC Pug never told him that. Dad grinned.
Dad wore a suit and I rarely saw him, but at story time he was mine – reshaping his boyhood heroes, Brer Fox and Larry Lamb.
He squatted on the pink nylon carpet by my bed. A rubber fairy-castle lamp defended us from Dennis Dark.
I curled up in the scent of Silk Cut, but often Dad was first asleep and I was left to complete his stories:
the one where Brer fox goes vegan and Walter is an eco warrior and I have learned to sleep without a light.
Helen Kay curates a project to support dyslexic poets (fb Dyslexia and Poetry). Her pamphlet, This Lexia & Other Languages was published by V. Press in July 2020. She has retold all her dad’s improvised and often repeated stories to her own children – with embellishments.
your voice soft warm steady and there you are snug book on one hand daughter cradled on the other she is looking at you you point at the page she looks at the page smiles you look at her smile and smile your voice soft warm steady daddy bedtime reading
2. the music chair
guitar tuned you settle to play wee faces watch eager to catch the beat you foot tap riff and the audience shift leaping grinning wiggling clapping live music here and now in this room requests taken no need to turn on radio or ask Alexa here and now it’s daddy our music man.
and you’re both on the floor piles of files and folders teeter ribbons of paper surround you novelty transforms this chore grinning daddy feeds the shredder noise whirs paper paper paper flying floating coating the carpet soft hands clap as spirals of print spout little fingers tangle making bracelets bills secrets accounts turn to snow at the press of a button and oh again again again daddy while laughter soars
This is not a shelf unit
It is a monument to joy shared. Tiny sculptures take pride in this place, shelf on shelf on shelf, such careful constructions. Bigger more intricate each time. Diagrams consulted, eager eyes find delicate pieces, position and press to build lego, that daddy ordered late night online, thinking of this bigger each time.
Finola Scott’s poems are on posters, tapestries, postcards and published widely including New Writing Scotland, The High Window, and Lighthouse. Red Squirrel Press publish her pamphlet Much left Unsaid. See also Finola Scott Poems on Facebook. Finola is delighted to watch her son-in-law having fun becoming a fine father.