He took my hand in his
It looked so small.
His, calloused, petrol soaked hands
Worked and tanned,
Protected mine, keeping me safe.
A smoke hung from his mouth
The smell was all-consuming,
I didn’t mind, in fact, I basked in it
I can still smell it now, it breaks me.
Triggering the memory of an easier time
A maroon polo shirt on his back.
He would give it to me if I asked.
If it was all he owned.
He’d give it all for a smile,
For his family, with love.
His voice, earthy and wise,
Cracked from age and cigarettes,
More beautiful to my ears
Than a thousand symphonies.
To hear it again would be bliss.
We’re broken now,
Split and corrupt.
He was the glue.
He would be ashamed,
Looking down disgusted.
His one and only disrespected.
This wasn’t his way.
He stood for family, loyalty, love.
And that’s what we remember,
Though some forget, we will fight,
We will fight to honour him.