Stare at this white wall and listen;
to the distant-near roar of the resurrecting sea
to the turf in the grate starting to catch: unimagined heat at the heart
of unimagined cold
And the arguing of dead grandparents
– What are you talking about? I saw him last week up Rye Lane.
Don’t know who she was, some fancy piece.
– He’s fucking dead! Twenty years!
Ah, what do you know, ye fucking eejit?
Not Ireland, then, but Camberwell. The fire not turf but gas,
the watery beyond; only the sound of cars passing in the wet street.
We stand, knickered and vested before the fire.
Kitted out in kilts
Mind! That pin’s sharp!
There! How smart you look. Straight out of the bandbox
(What does that mean?)
The jumper’s still on the needles:
One more row, darling’. Where’s my cable needle?
Wrapped round and fastened in tobacco scented wool;
a jumper’s not the same without the nicotine
Pass me that ashtray, where’s me scissors?
Put the kettle on love, I’m gasping
And never her own bed until her sister got married.
I remember the day we got hot water – out of the tap!
60s London didn’t swing for everyone
And that one, what’s-is-name – the brother. Flash sod he was
The one on the train
Robbed. All the same that lot. Mind, she was the only one of us that learned to drive.
And tea, always tea; each cup stronger and sweeter than the last
Click-click-snip-hsss. Clunk. The dark. The quiet.
Got 50p for the meter?
Somewhere, I’ve been saving them
Mind yourself on them stairs.
Swish-ssh-ssh- Swish-ssh-ssh. Clunk. Lights! Restart the fire and on with the show.
You’ll never guess who I saw the other week…
I thought he was dead
What are you talking about…?
An autumn afternoon. Surprising for June.
Copyright: Julia Lee Dean 1st April 2016