When I am asked if I am a daddy’s girl or a mummy’s girl I say I am a both girl. I am fortunate enough to have really close relationships with both of my parents. They both indulge me a lot, which my brother would probably say explains a lot about my personality.
My dad is basically me plus thirty years and a beard. When he saw that I had posted a poem about my mum he moaned about feeling left out. I sympathise with this because it is exactly what I would have done.
So in the spirit of celebrating my father – and the fact that I am my father’s daughter – here is a pair of poems. The first is from me to him on his 58th birthday and the second is from him to me on my 22nd. His was written to accompany a collection of 20 or so mix CDs he’d made for me. For a firefighting, beer swilling, outdoor meat cooking football fan, he’s pretty sentimental.
Mine should be taken with a pinch of salt, particularly if you are Pete. I just wanted the poem to reflect on how lucky I am to have a dad who has not only been a role model but has become a friend; I have my dad to thank for Fleetwood Mac, my driving licence, my ability to complete cryptic crosswords and every piece of barbecued meat I’ve ever eaten. Also, the nose, but you can’t win every time.
Ladies, lock up your daughters
Daddy you’ve made it hard to find the one.
It’s not that all the boys who have been and gone
haven’t been met with your kinder side:
You welcomed them.
God knows, you tried.
But knowing you has set a bar
and no one else has gone as far
as you have.
Knowing – as I do – that you exist
makes it hard to turn these silly trysts
into something more crystalline.
I can’t tolerate a receding hairline
or poor grammar or not knowing
how to fuse a plug,
how to solve cryptic crosswords
or computer debug.
Surely there must be a man
who can do all the things that you can?
Who’ll sincerely sing Belinda Carlisle
and can cook
and walk over four miles
in an hour?
I feel it’s my responsibility
to find a better man than did mummy.
Otherwise surely it’s devolution.
But who constructs puns as well as you can?
Daddy you’ve heard this one before
But I guess they don’t make ’em like you anymore.
28, 5, 89
You came into my life
Blonde, boisterous, beautiful
I am not used to this.
Time flew, you grew
Confident, clever, inquisitive:
Frightening me with your independence
A tumbling mass of
Strange fire stationy days out,
Blue plastered ankles,
You, holding a mirror to my face
Too soon you left
You’d grown, you’d flown
More years flow by
Me, fit to burst with pride
You, a woman.