A Tuesday poem by my favourite modern British poet, Hugo Williams. As ever, Hugo manages to take the mundane, usually in the form of recollections and turn them into metaphor which reaches out and touches us individually.
This poem never fails to remind me of my dear father and the day I learned to ride a bicycle.
Now That I Hear Trains
Now that I hear trains
whistling out of Paddington on their way to Wales,
I like to think of him, as young as he was then,
running behind me along the sand,
holding my saddle steady
and launching me off on my own.
Now that I look unlike
the boy on the brand new bike
who wobbled away down the beach,
I hear him telling me: “Keep pedalling, keep pedalling.”
When I looked over my shoulder
he was nowhere to be seen.