Friday, May 23, 2008

The Old Wardrobe


dragging the old wardrobe
up the field to burn
it disintegrates into dust
my heart heavy

I saw you change from my father
to blue veined porcelain
I heard your death rattle
and saw you spasm

I pile on some old chairs
tea chest and bureau
pile it all high
with tears in my eyes

then you relaxed
and after they’d gone
I kissed your forehead
and held your hand

the pyre looks like one of our dens
at nan's house
we’d make a hell of a mess
whilst they lay-in

I told you that I loved you
and thought of how you held me
in that photograph
41 years ago

I pour on the petrol
and toss a couple of matches
phooto of it explodes just enough
for my son to say wow

the fire takes quickly
licking around
baring the old frame
I stare into the flames

I thanked you for everything
not just for what you’d done
mostly what you hadn’t
just for being there

I kept checking, as you cooled
and when they came for you
mum asked for your wedding ring
and I got it for her

they say
“you only know what you’ve got once it’s gone”
I’d only just started realising what I had
I know now I haven’t

the fire dies
I just feel really rocked
like all my foundations
have crumbled to dust

I kick around in the ash
and I don’t care
if this is the last thing
I ever write.



Geraint Hughes

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