I Love It

I love it when my mind
Interrupts my mouth
And off I go
In another direction
It’s thrilling
The not knowing
While off on several tangents
All at once recently
I realised something
Quite profound
About my existence
Ten-year-old me
Died, tragically
Over thirty years ago
In a mental health accident
The direct cause of which
Was my father’s own
Tragic death as a child
His little world
Caved right in on him
And he couldn’t help
But destroy mine too
Forty years later

I believe these things
Echo through families
My dad’s dad, my grandad
Was killed in the war
He was only 18
An apprentice baker
From Clubmoor
With ambition
To decorate wedding cakes
He returned home to Blighty
An empty shell
Held Prisoner of War
By his own regiment
For four years
Washing the dishes
Unable to fight
He’d lost his mind After a few days
On the front line
But they kept him on
For all those years
Carrying the skips
A few years later
Back home in Liverpool
His 27-year-old ghost
Married a pretty girl of 18
Her family disowned her
Within four short years
Tuberculosis had killed her
Leaving two infants
She was too weak
To have had children
But she managed somehow
And then she was gone
And my grandfather died
For the second time in his young life
He left his boys behind
With his mum and dad
On Lambourne Road
Kindly Victorian souls
Grandma raised the boys
Washed, fed and clothed them
Gave them a fighting chance
But my dad was too far gone
He put on a mask
And lived a “normal” life
For a while
Part of which explains
Why I am standing here today
But in the end the weight
Of his death as a child
Was too much for him to bear
Everyone else is to blame
Life just isn’t fair
Contemplating all of this
I made a happy discovery
That ten-year-old me
Is alive and well
My spirit guide
Guardian of my innocence
Laughter and imagination
It was during lockdown
I first noticed
He came out to play
With my daughter
Who was with me throughout
The pair of them had a blast
It was wonderful

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