Rita, Keith and I are in the British Legion
to choose a menu for the wake.
We’re at the end of the long bar.
It’s early afternoon and the staff are busily
taking stock to the sound of music
piped through speakers.
Rita points to the far end of the bar-
Dad’s photo is pinned to the Obituary board
if you want to take a look.
I know it’s the one where he’s sitting at a table
wearing his green Liverpool away shirt.
He’s grinning, offering a pint to the camera.
The instant I stand in front of the photo,
smiling back at him, a shower of silver words
rain from the speaker above my head:
When you walk through a storm
hold your head up high
and don’t be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm there’s a golden sky
and the sweet silver song of the lark…
This tune, our bonding song down all the seasons,
gives me my life’s one holy moment,
washing away my grief.
I stand in baffled silence, innocent as an infant,
reunited with my father until the last note fades.
I walk on, a sinner
ambushed by angels.