The Pendulum Tick Tocked
In the hallway, a pendulum swung itself.
A slight tick-tock fell from it. It speared
the silence when we sat in the living room
as the time slipped between us.
Your eyelids closed then sprung back up
like someone quickly opening a garage door.
I sat watching the hands pass each other on
the face of a clock. You were retired now.
Your herring fish silver hair and tanned forearms
rested. A tub of dog-oil waited to clean your knee
joints from the sea air and drains. The room expanded
itself as we shuffled thoughts. Sometimes the words
we should have said came back at us in winter winds.
An Evening Back Then
Huntroyde was where our voices hung.
Each week we would strut and grow,
bones groaned under the skin like trees under snow.
We knew people’s gardens better
than them, picked up a lost football,
or hiding behind the hedge at night.
Our whistles got lost in the sky.
The tap of adult shoes on Friday nights,
cigarette smoke hung above their perfume
as they walked past, not giving us
a second thought after the manumit.
We walked under streetlights, created more
shadows of ourselves before letting them
deracinate into the sky. The local garage
lit up the earth more than anything we knew.
And we sat chewed gum like sheep eating grass.
Swigged pop as if we needed it to survive
said ‘Dibs on that’ as we guttled chocolate bars.