WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

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Terry
Posts: 2836
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Terry » Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:05 am

Here's another oldie - I notice I went mad with abbreviations in this one.

WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

The girl came shyly up to me then called me by my name
and though five years had passed on by she still looked much the same,
as when she’d waved that last goodbye from near her father’s shack,
way out by Eucalyptus on a lonely outback track.

She’d been a gangling tomboy then; a daughter of this land,
wild as the country where she lived and gave her dad a hand.
They’d worked a small gold show of his out Yundamindra way
and there she’d studied school of air, or so she used to say.

Her mum had taken off somewhere and left the girl behind,
she’d only been a toddler then but neither seemed to mind.
Although a rough old bushman, there’s a tender side to Jim,
who fussed about his daughter as she meant the world to him.

Old Jim and I had long been mates before I moved away,
to try my luck up north with hopes I’d earn a better pay.
We’d searched for gold together in the years before I went,
he’d been a tough old fellow, but a truly decent gent.

My train of thought was broken as she now began to speak
and told me that their lives had changed, and things were now quite bleak.
But first she asked about me; was I having any luck
in finding Eldorado, had that big one yet been struck?

She told me then her dad was crook and on the pension now
and she’d become a checkout chic to make ends meet somehow.
Her job was only part time as she had to help her dad
and though she hoped he’d soon improve; things still were pretty bad.

She then explained the reason why they’d moved back into town,
her father was now paralysed, a stroke had cut him down,
confining him to wheelchairs little speech and nearly blind,
no wonder she was close to tears, with all that on her mind.

She quickly straightened shoulders, and then looked me in the eye,
determined not to weaken - it just wouldn’t do to cry.
And then she almost whispered in a voice that seemed so sad,
“I wonder could you spare the time to say hello to dad”?



WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

I followed her back home, out on the edge of town somewhere,
a galvanized tin shanty that the two of them now share.
Nearby there was a garden where some shrivelled veggies grew
and added to the starkness of this quite depressing view.

She stood embarrassed at the door, then beckoned me inside,
forgetting I’m a bushie – there’s no need to stand on pride.
She led me to a dingy room with scarcely any light,
where sitting in a wheelchair, I now saw my old mate’s plight.

His face grotesquely twisted and was paralysed one side,
a shadow of the man with whom I’d wandered far and wide.
I reached out for his good hand, now aware of his sad state,
then I clapped him on the shoulder – “it’s good to see you mate.”

I talked then of the old days and I saw his spirits rise,
his eyes began to sparkle with the talk of dust and flies.
The afternoon passed quickly as we talked of days gone by,
when we had tramped the outback as we gave the gold a try.

He held onto my hand awhile as I prepared to leave,
it was his way to thank me for these moments of reprieve.
I’d planned to prospect further north but left that plan behind,
I couldn’t leave this girl here with her crippled dad near blind.

I knew I had to help somehow - a somewhat tricky task,
they’re far too proud for handouts and of course they’d never ask.
I’d find a way around it somehow, starting where they live,
a few days of hard yakka was the least that I could give.

His daughter walked me to my car and thanked me once again,
I saw her eyes were glistening - life must have been a strain.
I told her that I’d be close by and come to town each week
and as she shook my hand, a tiny tear rolled down her cheek.

******

© T.E. Piggott

Jeff Thorpe
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:54 pm

Re: WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Jeff Thorpe » Tue Apr 21, 2020 4:44 pm

Poignant Terry. A stirring read.

Regards, Jeff

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Shelley
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Location: Maryborough, Queensland
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Re: WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Shelley » Thu Apr 23, 2020 5:29 pm

Another excellent poem Terry, written as always in your own inimitable style.

Great story too. Is it based on fact?

Cheers
Shelley
Shelley Hansen
Lady of Lines
http://www.shelleyhansen.com

"Look fer yer profits in the 'earts o' friends,
fer 'atin' never paid no dividends."
(CJ Dennis "The Mooch o' Life")

Terry
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Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Terry » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:43 pm

Thanks Jeff

Some poor devils get all the bad breaks.

Terry

Terry
Posts: 2836
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Terry » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:44 pm

Hi Shelley and thanks

Yes there is a smidgin of truth in it.

Cheers Terry

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Maureen K Clifford
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast
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Re: WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Maureen K Clifford » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:17 pm

Just beautiful and perfect fo the Ipswich Poetry Feast Terry - if that didn't pick something up I'd eat my hat :lol: well I would if I had one.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -
http://scribblybarkpoetry.blogspot.com.au/


I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

Terry
Posts: 2836
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:53 pm

Re: WOULD YOU SAY HELLO TO DAD

Post by Terry » Wed Apr 29, 2020 11:43 pm

Thanks Maureen

I think I have a couple of spare hats, what colour would you prefer.

Cheers

Terry

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