A Poem by Greg Freeman


Solent


You must have been seven.
I’m in a home-made
Father’s Day T-shirt
that your mother organised,

that I carelessly only wore once,
but look in the photograph
rumpled, bronzed,
happy. You cuddling up to me

on the Solent ferry, returning
from the island, escorted
by yachts engaged in a race.
Now you’re a beautiful, loving

mother of two. That sweltering
summer we only went in the sea
after tea. Enclosed my mother
in our embrace, a year after

my father died. The disco
in the café when you all
got up to dance: the last time
I felt him at my shoulder.  




Greg Freeman is the news and reviews editor for the poetry website Write Out Loud. His 2015 debut pamphlet Trainspotters (Indigo Dreams) includes several poems about his father, who was a former Japanese prisoner of war and put to work on the notorious ‘Death Railway.’ His father died in 1989.