Tomorrow is my Granddad’s funeral and I’ve written a poem to read at the ceremony. It’s my way of saying goodbye. I composed it first of all in my little scrappy notebook, over the course of a few days. Little snatches of text here, little snatches of text there, scrunched next to my vast To Do This Week list. Then, like I normally do, I typed up everything onto Microsoft Word, and it’s there that the shuffling of words happened, and the poem was ‘born proper,’ so to speak. When I’m normally doing a reading, I’ll print the poem off on half decent paper from the library, shove it between the pages of my notebook and be off. However, my Granddad deserves more than that.
So I used paper from one of my favourite notebooks and a pen with real ink..my leaky Parker fountain pen…my history with Parker goes back. Way back to when I was about eight years old. In Steiner Schools, you write with coloured pencils for the first year of school, then you are introduced to pens through Parker.
Mine lasted fourteen years. Yes, it did have its own little case, and yes, I did always put the lid back on, and yes, I was never too rough when I took out the empty cartridges and inserted new ones. I remember I lost it when I was at University, and I put up posters all over the campus asking for it’s safe return. I never did find it.
The ones I’ve purchased afterwards have always been of inferior quality. The Parker I have used to write my Granddad’s poem has leaked from the word go. But to use it was a necessity. I biro just wouldn’t do… I am quite certain that tomorrow the ink stains will still be there, on the pads of my right fingers and thumb, but I don’t think he would mind. Not one bit.