My Dad Built Bury Barracks

Posted December 3rd, 2012 in Blogs, Poetry by briansellars

MY DAD BUILT BURY BARRACKS         Brian Sellars  03/12/2012

My dad built Bury Barracks.
I think he did it him sen.
He could lift Mrs Thackery’s stone sink,
And he built us a chicken pen.
He grew spuds, reight big fat red ‘ens,
Onions and runner beans.
If his motor bike spluttered, he’d fix it,
He could orlas mend cranky machines.
He could plaster a wall wi’ no trouble at all,
Hang a door, or restring a sash.
If a ball bounced anywhere near him,
He’d orlas set off at a dash.
He taught me to swim like a good ‘en,
I never feared watta  like cats.
He could waltz the Valeta and Tango,
And only Bogart had better ‘ats.
His bacon and eggs topped me mother’s,
We’d eight it when he were on neets.
I’d creep dahn stairs in me ‘jamas,
When he came ‘ome through t’dawn weshed  streets.
He worked in t’steelworks on t’stage,
Norra stage like his pal Ben Warris.
This were arc furnaces lined up in a row.
Mekkin steel wi’ ore dug from quarries.
They paid him extra and called it Hot Money,
But that weren’t all that me owd dad got.
Silica dust, toxic heat and burnt air,
Took aim with its deadly shot.
His big hands were still rough and strong,
As I held ‘em in that hospital bed.
He smiled and said “Love your mother,”
And that were it, he were gone, he were  dead.
I gerrim in whiffs of Imperial  Leather,
As I’m ambling along some cold street.
He’s there in the park when a goal’s scored.
He’s in shoe polish, and carving the meat.
How I wish that God had not left me,
And that cold science did not prevail.
For I’d still have me dad to look forward to,
When I reach the end of my trail.
Note: My old dad worked on Bury Barracks as a young apprentice bricklayer.
A silly joke in the family was that he’d built the whole thing himself (be him sen) 

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