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  • I was never Daddy’s girl -
    I was his only seed.
    He’d come so far: cow’s tail to ambassadorial sash,
    always the sparkler, never the rein.

    He taught me all I knew:
    cheering Maclaren on TV, explaining the finer points of rugby,
    testing me on African country names, world flags,
    he never once faltered, he had all the answers.
    He dared me dream better, spurred me shoot higher.

    We were explorers; I lived for those days
    when the car’s nose would choose our final destination,
    climbing up to the fortress where Richard lay prisoner,
    my own Lionheart all roar and fun bluster, always the one to catch.
    No hiding of his light under bushel. Repetition is his manna; boasting his flow.
    Nicotine breath exploding in laughter, the world rejoices in his fireworks,
    the teasing, the wordplay, the invented words.

    At times the scintillation broke my lesser spirit.
    I rushed off in my chagrin, to be sought out and hugged,
    brought back in the fold with boxing and play.
    ‘Of course I did not let you win that game!’ His reassuring fib.
    Swirls of his humour, like chocolate, like warm custard,
    would treacle forward to sturdy up the shore after the storm.

    Spent in passion, united, against all odds so similar,
    we’d then sit in sweet company, each other's completion,
    in happy duality on the sofa and read.
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