For I Will Praise My Father by Abigail Wyatt

(for Henry Ottley Tallett, a dynamiter at
South Crofty mine near Redruth, Conrwall)

For I will praise my father
for his giant frame
that once dwarfed me
as an oak tree
dwarfs a flower;
and for his big hands,
sure and strong,
and for the blue
sea secret of his eyes;
and I will praise him again
for the work he did
and the back
he bowed to feed me;
and more for the songs
he never sang,
and those he kept
to kindle
the great dark.

And I will praise my father
for the patience he had
and for the skills he acquired
through his living;
and again and again
for his blustering heart,
as big and as wide as the wind;
and I will praise him also
for the counsel he kept,
and for the slow, secret wisdom
of his judgement;
but I will praise most of all
the love he had;
and for how
he found the courage
to endure.

Abigail Wyatt Bio Pic Abigail Wyatt was born an Essex girl but has lived most of her adult life in Cornwall. Since 2008, her poetry and short fiction, have been published in more than seventy outlets including Words with JAM, Word Salad, A Long Story Short, Leodegraunce and 5Minute Fiction. She is a founding member of the Red River Poetry Collective and one of the editors of Poetry24, an online magazine dedicated to the publication of poetry linked to news events and current affairs. Once a teacher of English, Abigail now works part-time in a café and cares for her elderly mother whilst at the same time devoting as much time as possible to her writing. Her collection of short fiction, Old Soldiers, Old Bones and Other Stories, is available from and she is currently working on a collection of poems rooted in childhood and adolescence. She blogs at

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