Monday, 14 October 2013

2 New Poems

Grown Up

Children's backpacks flood the city centre as Friday's
makeshift parade begins in pinwheel swirl the same
I'm sure it always has, but do not know.

Pondered by the stone arches, Cheshire waterways,
smiling sundown clouds above Ferris revolving
lights, peak air breath drawn from Inverness down,

how I could have been the pinwheel spinning sharp.

I could have grown up here,
and cheered for Celtic over Rangers,
and learned to wince at tourist camera clicks,
and ate kebabs with wooden fish-and-chip forks,
and walked the Royal Mile to school and back home.

But I grew up amongst the maple keys falling,
and slipped down the ice-slick hills in Winter,
and scoffed at the American accents of summer beach travelers,
and picked strawberries in August at the farm five miles out
and rapped on suburban fences with replanted oak branches.

Table Salt

It was you with the salt and sugar at the kitchen table
in linoleum and soap-stained fixture abodments that cost
thousands more than their worth;

you, restless and wild as they do come.

Dry as grinding bone meal between strange glades of time,
wobble-stout the bridgeheads built-up of dashed hope,
2-litre Aldi cider bottles,

the Sunday light level I retreat into.

Yes, it was you, with the rusted hair-trigger feel for all this,
the beret cap whipping about in autumn's leaf-winded shadows
on the porch of the faux-French cafe,

you sang “The Last Time I Saw Richard” like you lived its every word.

And, yes, it was me, carving plastique and table salt into
statues to your beauty and how close I wished to clutch
you as a renaissance repainting;

imagining every song by a depressing Scottish band was about us.

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