My Father’s Eyes 33

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Long after my father had left this life, I was working in the shed and casually looked down.

There were my father’s hands, strong and sinewy, wide and worn, those hands didn’t belong to me at all.

When passing a window and there was my father’s face, the nose, the grey hair, and wrinkles, from long summers past.

Surely that wasn’t me, reflecting in the glass.

As I worked in the garden, as he always did, there were my father’s forearms holding the hoe, the same as he did so long ago.

The same blotchy skin all covered in hair, from working too long in the open air.

And on top of this, the same bulging veins as I opened and closed my fist.

I never imagined that my arms would look like his.

The grandchildren called me, ‘Poppy’, and I think it so grand, as they each come up and hold my hand.

And think of my father, for ‘Poppy’ was his title for so long, but I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded that we have passed it on.

The laughing happy children all eating cupcakes, straight from the oven. They love it when Nana bakes.

My mind wandered back through a swirling mist, to when I was the small one eating the treats, that were so sickly sweet.

The same pale coloured wrinkly wrappers that stick to the sides, the same icing licked off to expose the yellow sultana-filled surprise.

The dog barked and startled the children; they all stopped, instinctively looking up for comfort from their ‘Pop’.

As I looked down, a large shiver ran down my spine, as there in these little children, with features so fine, a startling, unimagined surprise.

There in their faces, I could see, ‘my father’s eyes’.

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David Perrott

David like many others of the time left school at 15 to get a job, to live, he was never very good at school anyway. After a struggle, his diverse career took him to many places, from Melbourne to Mt Isa, from Triabunna in Tasmania to Townsville, and many places in between. He is an internationally published author, but now he finds himself over 60, and contending with some hugely changed and challenging circumstances, that were inconceivable 5 years ago. He has recently published a coffee table book filled with stories and photos which can be purchased via his website

  1. I often catch myself using mannerisms from either my father or mother – not to mention my mother’s sayings!

  2. What I sometimes see is my paternal grandmother, only from photos, unfortunately, but it’s her alright

  3. That was so touching. I must admit at times I do something and all I can see is my darling mum doing it…..

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