The Moon and Back
Fantastic – your zoom lens.
Thought I’d experiment.
Take a stab at the moon;
hoped you wouldn’t mind.
Maybe add it to your album.
On reflection though, I guess
you’ll have a bird’s eye view...
where you are. Well thumbed
it’s become...over the months.
Hale Bopp – years ago now,
back in nineteen-ninety-seven.
Great, those pictures you took,
dab-hand that you were. Mine
are bound to be crap. Never did
have the knack. Too many knobs
to twiddle, buttons to press.
Your camera’s still fine. Haven’t
broken it yet except, true to form,
I’ll find a way. Calamity Jane –
you called me. It’s freezing
out here! But one good thing,
the sky’s clear as a bell. Hey!
I’m sure I saw a shooting star;
the Perseids, more than likely.
When are they exactly? July,
I seem to remember you said.
Reminds me of that night
we went ‘comet spotting’;
just the two of us at the top
of Box Hill. Sat there till dawn;
never saw one. Not that it mattered.
Strange how it is – this thing
we call ‘life’. The easier it gets
the harder it becomes. I’m wearing
your old coat; the one you always
wore. The one I gave to you
that birthday with all those pockets.
In one of them, a note on a small
scrap of paper, neatly folded.
“Hope this helps keep you warm
when I’m not there to hug you.
Love you to the moon and back.”
And beyond, Dad.