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Friday, 23 December 2011


Two smells
resurrect images of my father:
sausages burning and shaving soap.

One day after a blazing row with him
my mother took us kids out of the house,
for a breather, fresh air, time for things to calm.
We came back to find him lying on the settee,
in a light, smokey haze, sleeping off the booze, 
while sausages burned in the frying pan.

In the half a dozen times 
he hugged me, the scent of earthiness
on his chin was overpowering but reassuring.
Affection did not come naturally to him.
Six hugs, one for every year of my life
before he walked away from us.

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