For my father

I still have the letters you wrote to me
When I was very young
Tasking me with helping Mum out
While you were in places far flung.


You strove to guide me to perfection
Rewriting many lines,
But all I heard was “not good enough”
Never grasping it at the time.


You threatened to abandon me
Through the choices that I made
Yet you were the first to rescue me
When rose-tinting began to fade.


You gave up trying to reach your goals
When disaster befell my day
“Oh dear, oh dear” as you held me close
Was all you had to say.


You told me Africa would swallow me whole
That I’d never come back to you
But the reality was you were in my heart
And your words echoed in my head too.


I still have the letters you wrote to me
With warnings of dangers along the way,
But filled with love between the lines,
When Africa called me away.


You crossed the world and walked with me,
All puffed up, and bursting with pride
When finally down the aisle I went
And you were by my side.


And though you’ve been gone an eternity
Your voice is loud and clear
Guiding, cajoling, threatening, consoling,
As though you still are here.


Even now you tell me, that when the jungle goes quiet
Chances are, danger is near
You’re always asking me what my objective is
Constantly helping me get my thoughts clear.


I like to think that in a small way
I’ve given love back to you
Although I told you late in the day
I somehow think you knew.


I miss you, oh so very much
Do you get the letters I’ve written to you?
The ones I write by email
And post to the great wide blue.




4 thoughts on “For my father

  1. Carolyn,

    Reading your memoirs …… It silence my heart for sure. Deep soul, old soul, African soul. I love your posts.


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