Father's Day View from Window with His Son
In our flat on the top of the house where we used to live when our children were young
The front window gave the best view;
For out there were the trees, the Square, the children playing, the neighbours starting up cars,
All life, you might say.
But then one afternoon, in the room at the back, the bedroom my wife and I shared,
Were my middle son and I, looking out the window,
He standing on a chair and me showing him the world from a new angle.
Look at all the roofs, Lewis, I said and he did
And I wondered did he see all the slants and slopes and tilts of slates shining in the sun,
All the oblongs and rectangles of the houses they rested upon
All the nursery rooms of dogs and cats and hobby-horses and humans
Stretching away up into Stillorgan, for it was a truly bocketty arrangement to look at.
And I'm sure he did but I didn't know what he saw
For after a few moments of silent looking, he started to cry
And turning to me, he said, through tears, dada,
why do I have to be with my friends all the times
they ask me and always have to be doing the things they want me to do
instead of sometimes being by myself.
And a whoosh of love sang through me
And I said, I understand why you're crying, pet.
And it was like it was my own thoughts,
Yes, Lewis, it was.