dash
At The Winter Gardens

He climbs on and jumps from bandstands and benches,
the wood-sculpted mermaid, then tackles the fences
one side of the duck pond, and spying the bridge
trip-traps across to where trolls might be hid
and challenges them to come out if they dare,
after ensuring that grandadís close there
to assist in the skirmish if needed,
but his grandstanding passes unheeded.
There are only a posse of joggers panting,
social distancing signs, willow branches
and lovers who walk with their arms entwined,
a cacophonous gaggle of ducks where he finds
amongst the flurry of feathers and bread
there is one floating undisturbed and quite dead.
Ah, the fellowship grandad feels and must fight,
for the slumber of death in the midst of life.
And all the high places to which he aspires
that he might throw himself down and retire.
He takes grandad back to the picnic blanket
where mommy awaits with a marmite sandwich,
cordial, cake and a flask of strong tea
while grandad stares at the handkerchief tree,
abstinent, absent in his fogbound head.
But the boy wants to check if the duck is still dead,
so tugging his hands in case trolls are around
he keeps grandadís feet firmly fixed to the ground.

Raymond Miller


If you have any thoughts about this poem, Raymond Miller would be pleased to hear them

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