‘The Race’, by Andy Callaghan

Thank you to Andy Callaghan for sharing this touching poem he wrote, about his father, who was a miner and the importance of being outside in the fresh air.



Slight, but tough and strong as a pit-prop,
My Dad cut coal in the dark all week.
When loused he loved to walk for miles
in God’s fresh air and take me with him.
Often we’d race each other, pole to pole,
Along the lamp-lit streets.
I’d have a start, Shorter then shorter as the years went by.
He always won. “A race is a race” he said..
In time we started level, pounding hard, Knees jarring, down our furious course.
Until the day I won.
We laughed, bent double, cold breath smoking.
But something sad and wistful hung unspoken.
We never raced again.

June 2012

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