24 May, 2008

Bedtime with Dad

Bedtime with Dad

At my bedtime,
my Dad, faced by a lion in Africa ,
turned his back contemptuously
and the lion threw him down,
jaws slavering red and open,
teeth razor-white sharp .
But my Dad thrust his hand into those jaws,
down its throat
and through a slithery inner belly
to the root of its tail
then with one gigantic heave
he turned it inside out .
That's what he said.

At my bedtime ,
My Dad saved a white mermaid at Blackpool
from an octopus, by tying it in knots ,
and that same day saved a black mermaid
from a shark
by forcing cod-liver oil down its throat
with a bicycle pump he happened to be carrying .
Upon which the shark sank to its sea-bed
and took no further interest .
That's what he said .

At my bedtime,
My Dad put his thumbs into his mouth
and blew and blew
until his biceps swelled like balloons.
He once saved his life at sea
by using them to keep afloat .
I tried to blow mine up but couldn't .
There'll come a time,
that's what he said .

At his own last bedtime,
lions and mermaids waiting his arrival,
he gave me a morning-clean shaven kiss
and Be a Good Boy
is what he said .
I was sixty three.

Ken Baldwin
Most of my poems are about people. I seldom write
about daffodils as they don't vary a great deal .


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