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  • Chris Statham


Yesterday was father's day (In Malawi at least) and such events always make me think of the past and future generations, more specifically how my father influenced me and how I influence my sons (I also have a daughter) and the type of father they may be one day. Here is a poem on the same and which features in 7 Days in 1 Week. I sit nervously in the waiting room… will I hear wails of life or death? Shed tears of thanks or despair? I pray for baby screams as I sit nervously in the waiting room.

I sit nervously in the waiting room not knowing if I will be a good father to my son, trying to remember the lessons leant from my pa, learning from his successes and failures, and those too of granddad before he left this mortal coil. From my seed life lives in fleshy folds. A face like mine, but more rounded. Ears mine, lips Grace’s. Toes mine, fingers hers, chin, granddad’s. My son, his senses alert, knows who and what they can trust. The reassuring face, smell, voice, touch; they can feel the love implicit between father and son. When I see pictures of me as a baby, I see the love my father had for me, the care he showed, the responsibility that sat on his shoulder for his son, his forever sandcastle boy. That bond between father and son is unique, special. The senior leads by example, loving, teaching and grooming their son to be a father one day. ‘When I was a child, I spoke, thought, and reasoned like a child, but when I grew up, I put away childish thoughts.’ As a father, I understand this circle of life, the passing of generations from baby to boy to man to grandfather. That my little bundle of joy will soon be an adult, the centre of his own triumphs and calamities. Our generations are markedly different. the opportunities and challenges I faced were not the same as those of my father, nor will my boy’s experience but that of his dad, but I will always be there for him, helping to crest waves and survive tragedies. What will happen through his days, I don’t, can’t know. Will he get into trouble with the police, play truant, break windows, get drunk, shoplift, smoke dope… as were my teenage rebellions. How can I be his voice of reason? What can I tell him about what he should or shouldn’t do?

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