Dear Dad

Zoe Duby
2 min readJan 15, 2024

words to mark one year since you stepped so suddenly out of this earthly realm, on the 12th of January 2023

Dear Dad

I see you

In the glint of sun

Off the white of a seagull’s underbelly

Aloft in the breeze, flying free

I feel you

In the force of the wind

Blowing waves in patterns through the grass

I hear you

In the frog song

Giving chorus to a star strewn Cederberg night

Your life was not glamourous

And I loved you for that

I sit here now at your abandoned toilet block

Where you sat so many afternoons with our dogs

I stir up memories of your London chapter

You had some hard years

But you wore them without shame

I recall days spent in your van

Delivering computers around the English countryside

Belting out old South African songs at the top of our voices

Eating bacon butties in motorway layby caffs

Weekends exploring London’s nooks and crannies

“Remember to look up”, you’d say

I want to remember you

Not as I found you

On that awful haunting night

But with your blue smiling eyes

A chameleon perched atop your hat

Your shorts patched with old cushion covers

Marvelling at the fluid grace of a sprinting dog

Stooping down to pick up litter on the beach

Collecting it in your beautiful hand-stitched leather shoe

The shoe that tapped

When you listened to a guitar well played

So much of me is you.

Embracing all your faults

And idiosyncratic ways of being

I am proud of who you were

So grateful that you were my father

So here I am

Sitting at your abandoned toilet block

You are the wind in the grass

The frog song on a rainswept day