My Dead Dad

Tracks all covered with a flourish
He’d prepared, deliberated
Took a trifle dish on Friday
With a promise of it Monday
That was that.

Knowing well that in the meantime
I would not expect to see him,
Knew his time frame int-i-mately
Knew I’d wonder at the trifle
And not him.

Instead I invented reasons
For the making of a pudding
Was it company or family?
Or was he on a promise?
Oh, he was.
I’d been to the shop that Monday
Hurried back with Gammon slices
Really fancied them, that evening
When I walked in through the front door
And then stopped.

Faced with ashen supplication
From an irritating husband
Saying all the cliched bollocks
People spout in situations
Such as this

And I misunderstood at first
And then threw myself hysteric
Crying “grandad, grandad, grandad.”
Till he stopped me with a blue sky
“It’s yer Dad”

And then all the tale unravelled
How they said that he’d took tablets
And I howled out loud “The BASTARD!”
Then remembered I had children
And deflated

And then scarpered off to see him
Along with my eldest sister
To identify the body
Till a policeman apprehended,
“No. It’s gone”

So we went round to my Aunty’s
(that’s his youngest sister)
And smoked spliff
And drank Ice breakers
And grew maudlin then and tearful
and got pissed.

Fast forward to that weekend
When the council (in their kindness)
Told us that we’d need to clear out
Before the latest tenants
moved on in.

So we wrapped a life in bin bags
There was pitifully little
For a life lived on the bottle
And along the guttered margins
of the world.

They’d never even took the mattress
That he’d lain on to expire
And it showed in gory horror
Like a Turin Shroud of vomit,
Shit and Piss.

That suicide is filthy dirty
Even preconceived it’s lonely
Even planned in minute detail
It’s abhorrent and it’s awful
And that’s it.





Film maker: Bryan Dickinson
‘My dead Dad’ is another emotional poem from Rachel about her abusive alcoholic father.
The idea of the film is to let your eyes de focus on the screen as the words of the poem sink in.

Rachel McGladdery is a poet born in Fleetwood, now working in rural Lancashire. She has been widely published in anthologies and journals, both online and print. She writes for both the page and the stage, and was the winner of the inaugural Liverpool Lennon Prize for performance Poetry 2010 and the NXNW Slam for the same year. She writes from both a personal and political perspective, and about the people and places that have shaped her. She dislikes writing about herself in the third person.
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