5 June 2011

Christmas gifts: poem

My Nan
always arrived in a green van
secreted inside
un-wrapping and re-wrapping
the forgotten shapes of gifts.

My Mum
hung wet blankets in the doorways
hoping for a breeze
that would stir the stiffling heat
and keep the sherry trifle firm.

My sister
complained of a belly-ache
among other things
after eating all the chocolate
from gifts that would never be.

My brother
knobbly-kneed, quiet and gentle
bestowed no gift
to those who had crossed him
in his living memory.

At night
emerald-emblazoned beetles
flung themselves, pinging
at the screen door like popped corn
under the porch light.

Next day
folding crumpled paper flat
eating ham again,
the languid days stretched out before me
until the next school year began.

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