On Remembering Getting In To Bed With Grandparents
It’s amazing we got that far, loveless
As you were supposed to be, yet suddenly
I have a longing for your tripeish thigh;
Swallows, thronging to the eaves; a teasmade
Playing boring Sunday news and all sorts of
Rites and rituals which seemed notable but
Were really just trips in and out of the
Bathroom, the neurotic pulling back of
Curtains, stained glass window at the top of
Hall stairs; dark chocolate like the secret
Meaning of the world in a corner cupboard:
Three-quarter circle smooth as a child’s
Dreams and as far above reach …
‘Loveless’ the daughters said, years later when
The slow-lack peppered in their brains like a dust,
And life had grown as troublesome as thought.
Yet just tonight, I am dreaming of your thigh,
And of the unconscious swallows thronging to the eves.
The End Of Things
September came heavily, heralding the
End of things; you, for example
And the bitter apples on the tree
We collected loyally but which sat in
Paper bags endlessly until decay
Loved them more than we ever could.
September fell heavily, monsoons in
Haringay, torrents over tiny bridges
Sprouting madly, unsound roofs let
Water in (I noticed, oddly, now that we’re
Selling the garden with the apple tree).
Winter grew heavily; and as sharp days
Darkened, we negotiated an ending
Quietly (endlessly) in curtained-again rooms;
Your thick drape threatened terribly to
Hold me and make me feel warm –
Whilst quickly now, no longer wanted apples
Fell from trees and rotted silently in the uncut grass.
The intermittent almost-hours decreed and
Squared affection like an old master. Love,
Spilt from the conversation like a milk and
Begged to be taken seriously, but there was
Nothing in the contract that was happy
With this. Salt recoiled up mothering ducts
And peculiar thoughts sprang up like wild flowers
Scattered, by the unaccountable mouths of birds.