Charles 3 Comments

This is the second poem we have have published by Paul Wooldridge. You can find the first here. Paul started writing poetry following the death of his father and as a result much of it deals with death and grief.  Paul is not a poet in the fulltime sense of the word, he is an ordinary person with a job etc who also writes poetry. So your feedback would be very welcome.


Failing Courage

 by Paul Wooldridge


My father cries like me. With eyes closed, tears

slip gently down his cheeks. Or should it be,

because I’ve shed so few in thirty years

and now I witness them so frequently,

I fear I cry like him, not he like me?


They build behind his eyelids, thin and raw,

before descending, leaving gleaming trails

on ageing skin, more pallid than before.

I note the signs, those caused as bodies ail,

and with them his reserves of courage fail.


Both anchored in the living room, his hand

in mine, he sinks back propped with pillowed head.

As limbs begin to twitch beyond command,

I watch my future weeping on a bed.





  1. Charles

    The spirit of Larkin hovers around this poem , Paul – both in its compassion and the bleak objectivity of its final line. Powerful stuff!

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