funny that way

a poem by Leif Phillips, Australia - poetry writer, author, poet

This house
where I grew up
it was a funny house
my dad came back from the war funny
then mum went funny
my sisters were always funny
telling lies
so I’d get the belt
one weekend I went on a football trip
I had ten to come when I got back
they never stopped
Christmas was cancelled, twice
on birthdays you got sworn at
the cost of a Holden jacket
yet, it was still funny
bring ya mate over
Dad sitting on the toilet
saying he wants advance notice
for the next screening,
but there were days
people would show glimpses
of their former selves
Dad and I at the footy
the day his mother died
when he leaned on my shoulder
and cried
fearing a similar sad strangers demise
it was those tiny moments of honesty
which kept from going funny too
in the end that is,
cos I was quite comical for a while.

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