writing about a memorable object
I don’t know why the coal is different here:
Never the crackle of our fractious coalitea
But the easy licking of a tongue
Shining every ember amber.
I am driving Corgi cars around carpet swirls,
Michael Foot above me on the screen,
Shouting something, Einstein hair flying.
Mrs Thatcher stares back from The Daily Mirror,
With her helmet of curls.
Then the tapdance of too many keys
And Granddad’s at the frosted door,
Streetlight sodium framing his shadow,
Pylons slicing the night behind.
‘Here, have this...’ as I run for my hug.
‘Found it down’t pit.’
He drops it like ten pence into my small pink hand
With his big bad one,
The one that was mangled in a machine
Before I was born,
That I would always eyeball in awe.
Star of the Usborne Spotter’s guide (page 9).
I know its squareness instantly:
A cloud designed in Etch-a-Sketch lines
And built in Lego bricks of lead
Heavier than Derbyshire morning rain.
Its every facet speaks to me
Of outer space,
Of places I will never go.
I lose myself in it
As Granddad does in dinner with his dancing fork
Singly focused on the matter at hand.
I roll this comet round my palm for hours
Caressing every edge,
Each keen-eyed corner,
As Grandma deftly darns a sock
And Granddad, with whisky and orange squash,
Turns Arthur Scargill up.