Times with Dad
The precious minutes we spent
waiting for the car to come back
just for us. The way he held my hand,
said he loved me. The break in his voice,
his perfect wedding speech.
Those lunchtimes when he’d meet me
from the bank, take me for a Chinese,
put it on expenses. Made sure
I was alright. Me, just married,
still his Number One Son.
All the times I stood, breath stopped,
a light meter held to my face, my hair,
my dress. Heard him mutter about F-stops,
exposure, as he twiddled with the settings
on his latest camera.
The day he showed me the tickets,
pre-Christmas trip to Salzburg,
first flight for Mum. How he’d loved
the Biggles kit I made her.
How he loved her.
Hilary Robinson says she was “lucky to have the best Mum and Dad ever”. Her Dad loved wordplay and encouraged her to read and write from an early age. ‘Times with Dad’ is included in ‘Revelation,’ Hilary’s debut pamphlet with 4Word Press which will be published in June this year.
Dad’s note to me, 1984
Here is the note of good healing
that holds the charm of invincibility,
the power to protect a firstborn.
Here is an amulet against dying
on the table, a spell to wake safely
from the anaesthetic.
Here is the note of benign growth,
of no further treatment, the note of
come back to me whole.
Here is the note of seldom expressed love.
Hilary Robinson’s publications include The Interpreter’s House, Obsessed with Pipework, Strix, The Morning Star, Riggwelter, Dream Catcher and
Poetry Birmingham and anthologies including Please Hear What I’m Not Saying (Fly on the Wall Poetry 2018), A New Manchester Alphabet (Manchester Writing School 2015), Noble Dissent (Beautiful Dragons Press 2017) and The Cotton Grass Appreciation Society. Twelve of her poems are published in the DragonSpawn book, Some Mothers Do . . . alongside Dr Rachel Davies and the late Tonia Bevins. Her poem, ‘Second Childhood’ was shortlisted in the 2016 York Poetry Competition. Hilary has an MA in Creative Writing from Manchester Metropolitan University.