A Man Made of Water

In the afternoon my father  

and I went from the hospital  

straight to my grandfather’s house.  

I hung my coat two pegs  

away from his old fishing jacket  

and made us coffee.  

My grandfather muted  

the naval battle on the TV  

and asked how his wife was.  


                She’s the same, Dad.  


We sat around together for the first  

time that I could remember –  

just us, the three men.  


On the morning that he died,  

it began to rain from almost  

the exact moment that my father  

called to tell me. And although  

this would have been  

too sentimental for both their  

tastes, I was glad for a man  

who more than any of us  

was made of the water. 

from 'Country Music' (Offord Road Books, 2020), © Will Burns 2020, used by permission of the author.

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Will Burns is a poet and novelist. He first came to prominence in 2014 as a Faber New Poet and has since authored poetry collections ...