Times and tides
(Inspired by The Hessle Roaders photographic exhibition – by Alec Gill)
Maternal fathers strong to save
– mam and dad to lad and lass
And men who took the
harvest from the waves.
Terrace ender tell-tale talk from
women who never waved…
Nor wavered… but buried secret fears
where they also hid their tears.
Constant fight to feed the bains
Tank-like prams booled by mams
Racing for absent men’s wages –
A dock of aegis, cleft for thee.
Scruffy kids frozen in
Perpetual Play Street gaze
Waiting for Dad’s kitbag,
– Christmas every twenty-one days.
Ever-watching Gert and Lil
lean from terrace window sill
You be-have-ing you, Bill or
I tell yer mam…I will.
Three tides later – a latch-key
Lifted in click so-quietly – so
The two-up fretting wife won’t
Wave her man away.
Grey-silhouetted deckie in the
Humber haar drops his
gear in a Subway Car to
catch the company store.
And cathedral wireless crackling
mimics bacon sizzle and soundtracks
departures in morning’s half-light
‘…Dogger, Fisher, German Bight…’