my dad, younger than me

IMG_0319my niece / posted me a nice / picture of dad / an old black and white one mum had / she nabbed when she was down that way / the other day / and I have to say / he did look amazing / staring through the creases and chemical crazing / half the age I am now / young, proud / & so thin / his trousers hardly seemed to touch him / hair slicked back magnificently / hands in pockets insouciantly / framed in the doorway of a ruined church / a presentiment of their forthcoming marriage perhaps / and the look he gives the camera / come try me he seems to say / standing on the threshold of something substantial that day / which I’m sure he would have found a surprise / was fifty years of morecambe & wise / self-sacrifice & compromise / and a slow bright necklace of Sunday afternoon bonfires