Jo Bradshaw
29th October 2011 — By JoBradshaw

Poem For a Dead Dad

My dad died. He was sick, tired, alcoholic, in a mess. But, still our dad. He taught me in a roundabout way, about unconditional love. Even if he never cared where we were, or what we did at school, or whether we were getting married, he was just there, beaming and welcoming whenever we did […]

My dad died. He was sick, tired, alcoholic, in a mess. But, still our dad. He taught me in a roundabout way, about unconditional love. Even if he never cared where we were, or what we did at school, or whether we were getting married, he was just there, beaming and welcoming whenever we did turn up to say hello. Hello. Off to the pub. Goodbye. Recently I found out his mother’s family crest. The Duke motto is ‘Gradatim Vincimus, meaning ‘conquer by degrees.’ Here is a poem I wrote, and will try to read at his service if it’s not too wobble-making.

Gradatim Vincimus

Everything will be OK because
Love conquers all
Gradatim Vincimus, Pam knew
And we have made a den from the orange sofa

Everything is fine because
You met a bloke from the Alma Tavern
With a broken typewriter
And there will be roast beef and riddles for tea

Everything is funny because
You came home
With imps in your fingertips
And tickled us awake
Everything is magic when
You came wallpapering with love behind your eyes
Born in a barn, were we?
Big fat chips from the oily pan

Everything is special when
Coke is crackling over ice
Lemon floating
On a pub garden afternoon

You are filling out with pride
Crowing to the landlady
Who lets us in to play bagatelle

You are frozen in a lather
Camping
With no money to pay off the showerhead

Wet. Wet. Fine. Wet.

You are bringing radio tapes
Not even missing one
Lost in Space
Love, blasting off

By degrees, conquering
Life, in the way of love
Love is always there, though

Unconditional
Uncomplicated

You, never asking
Not judging
Just smiling

A pint of bitter
Maggie Thatcher
The Queen Mum
(God Bless Her)

Boots the Cat

Everything will be OK
Love conquers, by degrees.

Magic.