Sunday, 19 June 2016

An Ode to Michael-John

Remembering my dear Dad on Father's day. Michael-John Foley grew up on a farm in county Mayo, Ireland. He walked bare foot across the fields to school. He was my hero.

I remember your favourite colour was blue
That you liked crew neck jumpers & a dapper shoe
I know you had your fair share of strife
& that West Brom’s performance was the bane of your life

Never knowingly short of a yarn, your stories always had me gripped
Out for a stroll in Bridie’s field
A convincing ghost – you had us all tricked!

Poaching salmon on your neighbour’s land, who today would understand?
Foraging barefoot you brought home the grub
Your mother was proud, ‘till you became an honorary Dub!

You strutted your stuff on a Saturday night
The clubs of Camden provided much needed respite
Travelling around from town to town
The cold dank digs didn’t get you down

The crib you made with your own bare hands
For me that was Christmas, magical & clever
The bedtime stories you created
Enchanting & funny. Thanks belated

The Sunday roast you always cooked
Because, you said, “The Shelbourne is booked”!
Hide & seek in Phoenix Park
Picnics & caravans, up with the lark

Behind the curtain in economy class
You said, “I have a dream” & the passengers laughed
In Bogota, pursued in the street
Wearing a Chicago bulls cap – not exactly discreet!

There are those consumed by bitterness & anger
& there are those, like you Dad, who rise above rancour
A gentleman – you never complained
Whatever your burden you bore it alone

Your grandsons meant the world to you, in them your legacy lives on
Last Christmas with Archie was so very special,
Memories abound to look back upon
When mam died you were broken hearted
Death did you part, now at last reunited

A loving father right to the end
Determined to shield us from what no-one could mend
You died like you lived, with dignity & grace
No-one can ever fill your space

Wise, witty, warm & true
Our lives won’t be the same without you
Michael-John, you’ll be in our hearts forever

Memories of you we’ll always treasure

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