He grew up round here. His own country.
‘Since God were a lad’ they say,
remembering. The local paper
prints yesteryear photos of old teams.
There he is, foot on the ball.
He was always restless, spent
hours in our back yard, fettling.
He’d come up with all sorts – animals
you’d never seen the like of, bits of stars.
All gone now.
His smile shone like sunrise.
His fingers were lightning bolts
jolting my skin as he smoothed my breasts.
His blood ran swift as rivers, his heart
a rock veined with silver.
He was changeable as the weather.
His temper ran riot: that booming voice!
That was the start of the split.
He couldn’t stand being stuck in one place.
By Whitsun he’d packed his bags.
I hear rumours, like thunder across the tops.
We’d wanted kids, but it wasn’t to be.
Then he took up with this girl, under age,
already spoken for. A son was born –
I often wonder what became of him.
I love it round here, but I miss him:
the stirrings, the danger.
Sometimes I go walking,
gaze up at the hills,
but they don’t help.
In Life and Other Terms
Shoestring Press 2015