Tuesday, 30 June 2015

A poem: Three Early Memories, 1974. Also, a dream.

Three Early Memories, 1974.

Sat fast, high-chaired
as shattered shell
scattered, fell, then lay beyond grasp. Scared;
they couldn't hear me yell.

The screaming, unreasoning.
Faceted yet unreadable,
gliding and sliding without hurry,
in single-file, silvery
(both hunter and quarry).

One last show, then it's time to sleep.
Tired boy, tries his best to keep
awake, can barely raise his head.
No matter; carried easily off to bed.
Lights out on the Christmas tree.
Oh, what happened to you?
Whatever happened to me?

A dream.

The date on the discarded local newspaper was Thursday, October 17th 1974, but the paper was damp and had been trodden on several times. Furthermore, the lack of traffic at what I guessed from the twilight to be about 6pm suggested a day of closed shops and no work. Sunday, the 20th October, 1974, then. 

I walked down the hill, marvelling at the old buildings that were standing, soon to be demolished — and the newness of the ones that I grew up only to know as old seventies constructions. The fields in the gaps between the houses looked identical to how they would appear to me when I’d smoke on the benches there as a lad in my twenties. 

Finally, as the dark enclosed me, I stood outside my home. I looked admiringly at my father’s cherry red Daimler in the garage, its length rendering the garage doors uncloseable. Through the leaded glass in the front door, I saw the kindly light on in the hall, heard my father’s voice, clear and confident from somewhere within. 

I was afraid to knock on the door. Somehow I felt he would know who I was and be frightened by it. 


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