Wednesday, 20 January 2016
when you were six years old
you told me there was a man in the garden
with a chequered headscarf and cap
and one eye white with age
though the other was brown as old tobacco.
He was down by the potting shed
waiting for you to return
with meat-paste sandwiches and a glass of milk
like some marshland Magwich.
There was no-one there when I looked,
just a lingering smell of turpentine
and pipe tobacco,
the same smell that was in your bedroom
when you were on your school trip to France.