Old man’s old man

He moves with the deliberate precision
of his old man’s old man sliding
his shirt sleeves up his forearm
ready to do the washing up.
Just pop your plate on the side,
you go to bed, I’ve got this
The curls on his head are thin,
a tangle of wires behind a TV unit.
He pushes toy vans like he knows
where they’re going, confident
he’ll be asked What route did you take?
when he arrives home on a cold Thursday.
He doesn’t have all his teeth
but he doesn’t need them to smile
at the sound of a squeaky hinge
or to tap his hand to the tune in an advert.

© Carl Burkitt 2022

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