Bad

I remember well the stretch of his vest
as she pulled him towards her, across the school desk:
a little woman, with thin purple lips.

You are bad, she mouthed –
at six, he would have smelled her hot breath
and felt her spittle on his skin.

I remember then how miss told him:
You will never amount to anything.

Fairy

Have you forgot the fairy child
its face a rose from Heaven
who danced upon your attic floor
with you when you were seven?

Have you forgot the world we made
from dust of fairy shoe?
I took you in with fairy ways –
you wondered what I knew.

Have you forgot your whispered wish
when you were shaped a child,
and I was something different?
the promises we smiled?

Another life undid our bond
and closed the door I made
betwixt the breath of butterflies
where fairy children played.

But in this altered time we live
I hold a space for you
and you’ll return in time, you will –
All fairy children do.

In Memory

My memory is

a tailored suit black cuff button rolled

flipped and wedged between dusty wainscot and wooden floor.

.

It is four heavy old pennies balanced and stacked

beneath the leg of a lopsided make-do desk.

.

And then I may take the middle of a punched paper hole

scuffed and left by the soul of a Brogue.

.

In perpetuity it will bear faintest traces

of the stale scent of slim cigars

emanating from a plastic-lined basket-work bin.

.

It will not be wiped either

by its one string slither of a shedding mop.

.

There will be a sound too –

a sound insistent as a stylophone;

like the thrum of Anglia cars through thin windows.

.

And oh yes, its colours will always be orange – 

orange and bottle green.