Day Trip Philosophy is a poem that remembers my Dad. It focuses on the memory of a day trip to Gliffaes Country Hotel, where we would often go for tea. The grounds were vast and seemed full of stories. There was a little wooden hut, where people could take pause before heading down to the river. For us, it opened up the view and our expectations of rushing water, perhaps the glimpse of a fish.
This particular occasion felt extra special. Both my parents were in good spirits and Dad (perhaps looking at me as a teenager, almost a woman) was recalling his younger days. He had an album of army photos that he was proud to show off and it made me proud to think that he had set off boldly to do his National Service, having already spent a lot of time away from home at boarding school. I was such a homebody at the time – I don’t think I would have managed so well.
Dad’s experiences made him value family and home more than most. He encouraged us to be explorers, but also loved having us around. At the end of a day trip, he always asked if I had enjoyed the day. And of course, I always had.
Day Trip Philosophy
To give the hut a name, it was
river hut / mud house, sat on a view
of ripples and salmon-flight.
We threw stones to a sky that breathed,
talked of the days when you smoked
a pipe . . . I was a whisper then.
You had a young-dad head of curls,
a friend who could have been Elvis.
Army adventures slipped under years,
surfaced in black and white photos.
That spring, we bonded through
wild green tree time, ran
to the rambling hotel for tea.
Your voice turned tender on the drive home:
Did you enjoy the day?
An overgrown youngest child, I nodded,
holding this last hour to heart.
Your Day Trip Philosophy mends us all:
restless daughters looking for waves,
a tired husband who needs a dream, and me,
not growing, losing you has made me a child again.
K. S. Moore