« Chapter 25 | Main | Bach's Concerto For Oboe, Violin And Strings »

U3A Writing: The Well: 13 Father

Even though John Ayling was not allowed in the house when he returned home after an absence of 12 years, his father was proud of him.

Paddy Webb continues the biography in verse of her great-grandfather.

What am I doing? You can see what I'm doing.
I'm shifting stones to build up the bank, here
By the jetty. That's what I'm doing.
Yes, I know it's Sunday afternoon. A man
Has to do something when he can't stay in the house.
Don't just stand there, give me a hand with that big one.
No, no, to me a bit, easy now. The wife's there
Apron over her head, can't tell if she's laughing
Or crying. The little ones making their selves
Sick with sweets and our Sarah, charging in
From next door with the baby, to see what's on.

Pass me that small one, we'll wedge it here. It will hold all the rest firm, see, like that.

All because our Jack's come home.
You remember our Jack? Ran off twelve years
Or more ago, when a well caved in. I thought
He was dead, we never heard nothing. Then
Walks in, bold as anything, with a wife
On his arm. Hello Mum, he says,
It's me, Jack, as if nothing had happened.
I tell you, I wouldn't have him in the house;
If he couldn't be bothered with us all these years
I wasn't going to be bothered with him. I've
Another son now, young George, and three more girls,
I can manage without him. But I had a look, a peep
Through the window when they sat in the garden.

A proper man my son has grown.

Did you see the swirl, there, in the water? That's the old pike. I had him once, But the line didn't hold. I've sat all night On this bank after him. I'll have him yet.

She's a good looking girl. For all she's a London Girl. Got a waist like this, no bigger, I'll swear. He told The wife they rent two rooms in Peckham. It really got my Missus, him getting married Without us knowing, not that I care. It don't mean nothing to me, like I said.

Look at this, they brought a present, A twist of my favourite baccy. No, I'm not going to enjoy smoking it, I'm going to keep it, here in my pocket. My boy gave me that.

To read earlier episodes please click on http://www.openwriting.com/cgi-bin/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=1&search=paddy+webb


Creative Commons License
This website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.