Micheline Mason
Shining a light on inclusion

Did I Ever Thank You Dad?

Did I ever thank you dad
For looking at me with such delight
Whilst all others were wringing their hands
Lost in the deadly imagined tragedy
Of the Brittle Bone Baby
Your sparkling green eyes alone
Sent me a life-line
A connection so brief
But strong enough to anchor me
Through those terrifying whispered half-lit hospital nights
Knowing
You would come to my rescue

Did I ever thank you Dad
For all the skills you learnt
Through gruelling apprenticeships
Employed for our comfort, security and peace
Sleeves rolled up, sawing and hammering,
Plastering and painting
Digging and planting,
Stripping down and mending
Labouring at work
Labouring at home
Seldom resting
Whistling, tired and proud

Did I ever thank you Dad
For the games, the cuddles, the jokes
For carrying me on your shoulders
Riding me on your bike
Our harmonica playing funny man
My sister and I
Rolled up with laughter
In nonsense bed time fun

Did I ever thank you Dad
For telling me that you were content
That we seemed to be enough for you
Worth all the energy you spent
You treasured us all
Though the world saw me with pity
You saw me with pride
Your artist, your thinker, your fighter
I saw never saw shame in your eyes

Your big heart gave out too soon Dad
So much success you didn’t see
Grandchildren you never met
You were worn out by childhood hunger
Being a soldier in an unwanted war
Three jobs to make ends meet
A fireman hero rushing into danger
When all others are rushing out
Always being brave
Always being
A man.