The Child Within

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“Take me for a walk,”
Said the child and offered up a happy, grubby hand.
“Shall we explore the house”
I asked?
The serious face beneath its Viking hair,
Burned me with its curious eyes.
Our house, I seemed to answer… the passive question.
Yours, each dream filled day of childhood,
Mine, dying embers of memory on a smoldering fire.
The large, white door, number six, woven in glass
Into the leaded testimony to nineteen twenties art,
Swung open for us both.
Blown once from its hinges by Herr Hitlers’ bomb.
Held wide for you, as death’s fingers,
Played dice for your young life.
Mr Fleming, clever man, filled you full of his invention,
Smells like rotting flesh upon pajamas,
White seamen of the sorcerer he surely was.
Smell or not it’s why I’m here.
There’s not much to explore, no hundred bedroomed mansion.
Yet so little of the embedded detail has really, really changed.
“Until you left”,
I remarked to the Child,
“Nothing really changed.”
Each item its allotted place, dusted daily and replaced.
A few, that get fewer, have traveled with me.
Time capsules of memory to glance upon or fondle.
The Child let go my hand to show me how a cardboard box,
The ultimate of toys,
Became some strange vehicle, sliding over lino
Polished entrance to the hall.
I wandered with the Child,
Through the simple rooms.
The coal fire, warming bottoms on a winter day,
The steam filled kitchen, tiny with its intimacy,
The stove alive with its creations, the damp dog drying off.
Bedrooms cold, ice filled in winter,
Tossed and turning during summer,
When only saucepans filled the weekly bath.
“That’s a laugh,” I told the Child.
It was however much engrossed in flying Bronco planes
Across the bathroom lino floor.
That lay as some great marbled end paper or a pirate’s map.
I heard delivery horses clopping by,
I’ll have these memories till of course with me…
They’ll die

  • Date: 12th January 2017