Ties

I tried to burn my fatherís ties
(Myself, I wear a crew-neck shirt);
Although some sparks began to rise,
The fire smouldered, looked inert.

The proud Nuneaton rugby crest,
The logo from the TSB,
The old school stripes that crossed his chest,
The mourning black he lent to me:

All stubbornly refused to blaze.
I took a stick and tried to poke
The ties worn twenty thousand days
When he himself was long since smoke.

I buried them beneath the weeds,
Beneath the shadow of a beech.
Absurd, then, how my heart still bleeds:
His ties, more eloquent than speech.

From the book Rime Present