For my father on his anniversary

For my father on his anniversary

by Kevin Murphy

He needed better air.
He found it by the waters, with the love of his life,
But it was smoke that killed him.

Water wanted his children
So he feared it, he feared it and fought it all his life,
But he didn’t see smoke creep.

Thames, Isis and Cherwell
Ditches, delves, Kidneys and quagmire, keen to take a life,
But it was smoke that choked him.

‘I’ll dig a friendly pool
My children will jump, splash, swim, beat the water and laugh,’
But he couldn’t laugh and smoke.

‘Water fought with fire
For me to see the dive, the stroke, the splash and the laugh!’
and I see water not smoke.

He has found better air,
by the water of life, with the love of his life.
Smoke? Water? Breath easy now.