Friday, 15 April 2016

April poetry 2016/15

Enough for Sweets and a Comic

A message scrawled on the back of an envelope
in lieu of paper – my mother was frugal,
even her diary was built of butcher's foolscap
and cast-off scraps of newspaper –
here is the tooth that came out today
illustrated by a crude, five-year old's depiction
of a face with a missing tooth,
a ring with an arrow pointing to the gap.

I'd hoped for a sixpence, pre 1920 for preference
or at least pre-1946. A shilling was too much
to expect, even then I knew my parents were poor
but thruppenny bit seemed too mean,
although I knew my dad had a tin of them.

The tooth, and the note, under a flat pillow;
the cotton one with lines of rainbow hues
with the feely corner darned in black.
And sleep, among the fox-dark sounds
of wind among the treetops and wood pigeons
heralding the morning light when I woke
and there was no coin beneath my pillow,
just my old tooth and the ragged scraps of trust.

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