There was a tin of Swarfega
under the kitchen sink –
its opening the notification
that Dad’d been tinkering

His wrenched weekend battles
with the aged Austins and Fords –
as a fraught amateur mechanic –
were his own ongoing wars

He was sometimes frustrated
by metrication’s slow foray –
and I was equally stumped
by his old imperialist’s ways

He became a man of peace
as he stripped his oiled guns
with no sprung swear words –
loud expletives were not sung

He would put his bearded cheek
onto the cold wood and weigh
the weight of barrel with loadings
and teach his lungs to wait

The engineering of Brownings
he would refit with no complaint –
in his trigger hands and breaths –
he exhaled and taught our aim

At the farm with my two boys
I put up targets with care –
There I taught them how to shoot
and shared my Dad’s zephyr.