There Yet: A Poem

I moaned, as a child

If made to go on a walk.

‘It’s good for you,’ he’d say.

As if I cared.

Those miles,

Wasted space in a day.

Each step a trial

Each foot a mile.

Pointless to ask, ‘Are we there yet?’

We never were.

*

Later, lost in my inarticulacy

Him with his opinions, me with my frustrations,

I walked away.

Into a manhood

Of work, love, marriage.

I walked down the aisle

And he grinned.

Fit to burst.

Both of us men,

Walking around each other.

This new status quo,

Never getting us anywhere…

*

One day, a call.

‘I’m going on a walk.’

‘Where?’

‘Just a walk. Would you…?’

*

It’s never ‘just’ anything,

Not with him.

But I joined in,

On the outside of his companions.

Walking and watching:

The laughter, the ease, the baggage easily shared.

I was sad when it ended.

‘Have we got there already?’

‘Not yet,’ he’d say, even when we had.

*

Other walks followed

And we walked ourselves

 Until we met somewhere beyond our past,

Somewhere where understanding resides.

*

For years we walked,

Into the distance,

Across paths and our past,

Finding views and vistas,

Friendship and love.

*

I still walk.

He’s there.

Somewhere.

These days, he’s the one who listens.

And I no longer want to know if we’re there yet.

Chelsea has encouraged us to write some free verse. I’d not thought I would have a subject but then I got talking about how my relationship with my father changed as a result of us beginning a series of long distance walks after her retired in the 1980s. This is the result. If you’d like to give free verse a go and have the benefit of Chel’s insightful thoughts (she’s done wonders on other of my poems) click here

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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32 Responses to There Yet: A Poem

  1. willowdot21 says:

    This is lovely and so true of what your relationship with your dad was like….. How it grew and developed. How come relationships improve as we get older to be perfect when one is deceased.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      Yes time and maturity helped us both in the end. How’s Ruby?

      Like

      • willowdot21 says:

        Yes you both got there in the end thanks to the walking.
        As to Ruby it’s not easy but she’s a star she allows us to change her dressing three times a day with no fuss at all from her!
        Today way is day 10 since her op and the first day in a week that we have not had to go to the Vetinary Hospital at Guildford to have it done.
        There’s still worry that the skin flap they made might die … The amazing vet is causious but hopeful.
        Hope that’s not too much information. She waved a paw to dog 💜💜

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Not at all. Given what Jenni overshares, it was almost PG…

        Liked by 1 person

      • willowdot21 says:

        Thank you, fingers crossed 🤞 anyway 💜

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m pretty sure that most of us, if not all, never quite get there. That may be the answer to the ultimate question!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. A marvellous tribute to the man who showed you the way

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Darlene says:

    A great poem. I love how our relationships with our parents evolve – if we are lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. A terrific poem, Geoff.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. This is really lovely–thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. JT Twissel says:

    Brought a tear (actually several) … heartbreaking.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. noelleg44 says:

    A great poem about how we finally figure it all out when we get old enough and a nice tribute to the companion on your walks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      My dad loved walking and setting the world to rights. He’s still trudging (slightly downhill!) Somewhere bending some angel’s ear on the price of seed potatoes or the lack of public toilets…

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Erika says:

    I can so relate to that, Geoff!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. V.M.Sang says:

    A lovely tribute to your father, and the changing relationship as people grow older.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I love the honest discussion of the emerging of a different and more mature relationship with your father over time and many walks.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. mukundislive says:

    its sometimes too easy to look ahead of ourselves , we not in the moment

    Liked by 2 people

  13. A wonderful tribute to your father, Geofff… 💞

    Liked by 2 people

  14. joylennick says:

    I so enjoyed that Geoff. One to set the mental wheels in motion…My own Dad loved walking and cycling, & how many of the hoi polloi owned cars in the 30s and 40s? He never did own a car or drive, and we four children used our legs a lot…caught buses or trains. It was good practice for living in the Welsh mountains in WW2 in Wales….I stlll don’t drive, but have a handsome chauffeur…

    Liked by 1 person

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