My father scything


My father was sixty when I was born,
Twice my mother’s age. But he’s never been
around very much, neither at the mast
round the world; nor when I wanted him most.
He was somewhere else – like in his upstairs
Dickens-like law office counting the stars;
or sometimes out with his scyth on Sunday
working the path through lupin towards the sea.

And the photograph album I bought myself
on leaving home, lies open on the shelf
at the one photograph I have of him,
my father scything. In the same album
beside him, on of my mother.
I stuck them there on the page together.

My Father Scything from Doubtless: New and Selected Poems (Craig Potton Publishing, 2008), Sam Hunt 2008, used by permission of the author. Recording from the Waiata New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive 1974.

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