Unravelling Twine

photo credit: Piyushgiri Revagar Centre via photopin (license)

I never knew my father. I recognised him of course, I’d see him every morning silently cutting up his bacon rashers and sausages before forking them into his mouth; while us kids bickered and fought using our cereal spoons as make-believe swords. Then in the evening he would be found hiding in the dark shadows of the living room while the rest of us hovered like a family of moths in adoration around the flickering light of the television screen.

The rest of the time he seemed invisible, apart from the odd glimpse of him sat on the old wooden bench in the shade of the crab apple tree at the bottom of the garden. Mum used to send him there as she hated the smell of his tobacco. There he would sit his pipe gripped between his teeth while his hands worked unravelling a twisted mess of green twine. He never seemed to unravel it, every time you saw him there he seemed to be, starting his own labour of Hercules anew.

I never found out what he was doing it for or if he ever finished, and now I’ve left it too late to ask him.

© 2019 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Originally Published 22 October 2017

3 Comments

    1. Thank you Danny. I think it’s so easy to put parents in a narrow pigeonhole of being a parent that we can’t imagine them outside of that role and context. Then unfortunately when they are gone all we have is the wisdom of hindsight.

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