Passing The Baton #poem #poetry

Some 12/13 years ago, the Textiliste and I drove to Nottingham, to Sherwood Hall where our son, Sam was to be based for the first year of his history and politics degree. He was excited, nervous maybe and me… I was a mess of conflicting emotions. On the way home, we stopped at a service station and stared at each other. Wordless. It was tough. This poem followed that silent moment. It also brought back memories of my first night at University, the terror and hope that wrapped themselves around me.

This weekend that same young man, still young in my book even if he’s slipped past thirty, will marry. It’s a long time since he took to adulting but still there’s still, as all parents will recognise that momentary pause for contemplation; will he be okay? His wife to be is delightful, there’s no question after being together for ten years that they are well suited by parents worry; its what we do so part of me still ponders as I did that warm September day those years ago

Hand Over

(written after I dropped off my son at University on his first day)

Today you walked away from me.

You didn’t look round to let me see

If you were smiling or close to tears;

You kept from me your hopes and fears

And let me do the babbling chat

As I spoke fondly of this and that,

Memories from a sanitized youth.

How lovely, how fine; so far from truth.

Of course. I sat on my bed that night,

Alone, home sick, nerves held tight.

Would they be friendly, would they be friends?

True companions or means to an end?

Why had I come? Why take a chance?

Was I reading too much in that glance?

You stopped and stared across the lawn,

Profile blurred, I watched forlorn

As you held a pose, firm upright,

Then turned away, and out of sight.

I blew out a long-held breath,

Closed my eyes, ground my teeth.

I held in mind that final frame,

An image that might dull my pain.

A picture of your long straight back,

Cropped blond hair, rolling gait.

You walked away, my darling Sam

This day when you became a man.

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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14 Responses to Passing The Baton #poem #poetry

  1. Remarkably beautiful tribute

    Liked by 1 person

  2. All blub (©️ N Molesworth) x


  3. Congratulations, to a wonderful remembrance. Now magnified by a conjunction to another family. I hope, that for once the British weather will be less traditional.;-) Have a nice rest of the day! xx Michael


  4. floridaborne says:

    I have been there, and I remember the exact moment when I hugged my son and didn’t want to let him go. He smiled and said it would be all right. No — it wasn’t all right. It was years of tears, worry, and watching him make the same mistakes I made.

    In another 4 years, his daughter will be hugging him, he won’t want to let go, and she will say the same. It’s a rite of passage for both parent and child.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. George says:

    That’s beautiful, Geoff. It tells of volumes left unspoken, but silently understood.


  6. A terrific poem, Geoff. It tells the story we share very well.


  7. We may grow old, but do we grow up? Never, in our parents’ minds!


  8. willowdot21 says:

    I do understand, been there three times, it’s so hard isn’t it… He’ll still surprise you even now .
    Lovely poem Geoff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. petespringerauthor says:

    I appreciate this so much—one of those fantastic father/son moments. Now don’t pull that out at the wedding or reception. If it were me, I’d turn into a crying mess after the first few lines.😎

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Widdershins says:

    Well said, Sir Geoff, well said. 🙂


  11. Beautiful and deeply thoughtful. Hope this day goes well for all.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Rowena says:

    I feel so emotional thinking about your son get married, even though we’ve never met in person after sharing stories about our families all these years, I am a long way off seeing a child get married (I hope), but I remember dropping young Miss off on her first day of school and she didn’t look over her shoulder. As the second child, it was all so familiar to her and she had her big brother to hunt down at recess and lunch. A friend of mine in America has just driven her son to college, and I think the two of you could share a good cup of tea together. We’re not meant to hold on, but I don’t think letting go is meant to be easy. It is a wrench.
    It can also be the opportunity to reclaim a bedroom. As soon as I got married, my father stripped off the pink Laura Ashley wallpaper off I couldn’t stand and painted it his stock-standard favourite – Antique White. However, the patter of little feet can bring them back home. A night out on the town while the grandparents look after the kids.
    However, that can wait.
    Congratulations all road and much love and blessings for a long and happy marriage and renewal to your beloved garden, especially the lawn.
    Love and blessings,

    Liked by 1 person

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