Grandad – New Poem 1st draft



I want to climb inside your great, heavy head,

pick apart the knots and release the memories

hiding, like strawberries amongst nettles.


You want to get back on the computer,

start that book you’ve been meaning to write

since the kids left home thirty five years ago.


But you can’t remember where to go with the curser

after you’ve turned it on. I’ve shown you,

lots of times, slowly and carefully.

I’ve even written it down.


It never sticks, even though you want it to.

I can see it in your eyes, you are hungry and worried.

But it all takes up so much energy and days go past

so quickly. There isn’t enough time for everything.


The colour of the hair in front of your ears has lifted.

It’s white and dramatic. But I don’t like it.

I remember that photo of me and you.

I’m wearing your flat cap, tilted at an angle. You are barely 50.


Recently, you’ve started smoking again, those menthol cigarettes

that put you in your own pongy, dusty cloud.

The smell likes our clothes and holds on until we get home.


You forget things, like who’s who. I feel terrified

and panicky when you do, and my heart hiccups.


Then you’ll ask me if I’ll help you to get on the computer,

because you have this great idea for a book.