My Dad the UN Retiree


My father spent 22 years with the United Nations.
Where his main type of work
Was development – the type that involves
Project files, MS Excel budgets
And deft action plans.

Still I have never seen him take a challenge
On to his stride, than when it came to the car.
He would check the petrol, the water, break oil
Battery acids and even check nuts
And bolts with strong frequency.

You could say he loved being in control
Of any moment that has traffic working against you
Knowing that the Toyota car is primed
To handle the miles on the road.

Like how he battles little ailments
Such as a syncope and high blood pressure.
The long road home looks at him
Calling him, hit the road jack and still
With his bouts of unconsciousness,
He is perennially the passenger in the car now,
With my mom driving him all over.

Its amazing how easily he has fitted in
To playing second fiddle. The car is no longer THE CAR.
It is the ride to somewhere sweet.
Like the supermarket where he will follow
My mom with the trolley.

It takes a man to know when to take a back seat.
When that clutch he deftly balanced
Is now time, like when I see him with the broom
Sweeping away minutes, which like his sarong
Wraps him and that little smile on his face
Tells me, there is nothing else he would rather do.

Domestication is an ultimatum to most macho men.
But for my dad, it was a joy ride

With no seat belts on.

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