Stephen Sst6 2nd draft

17 Jan

Don’t spend too much time critiquing this as I’m probably going to completely change like 70% of it. I’m not keen on it and am forcing too many things. It’s about my granddad. Was going to use his house flooding as a metaphor; was going to explore the loss of my grandma in some way; was going to question aging effecting a brain with previously intricate employ. In the end i just dropped them all in in a really lackadaisical way. I think it’s evident I was writing it on different occasions. Would like feedback on what aspects might be more interesting cuz generally I think it seems dull.


His face is a mask
which when looked on now, hangs crooked.
The elastic in his skin holding loosely as its been worn too many times.

Canals meander round his eyes – excavations into untouched ground.
The banks of his cheeks; the victims of attrition, steadily engraved.
Jowls worn like a fallen coronet,
regretting everything he could’ve said to her before she left him in her sleep.

They met as teenage orphans on one of Rotherham’s backstreets,
where, cautious on the cobbles, he helped her find her footing.
I hope it was these memories he held onto longest.

In the damp rubble of his flood, their old photo remained on the mantel –
young faces changeless beneath the mould and scud.
Watchful owners of the leftovers.

After the the waters drained out of the Badsley Moor house
his brain still holds the residue
– he couldn’t remove the stench, distracting sanity
from the most mundane things.

His working man’s mind had spent a lifetime conducting
the inticracies of RAF engines and South Yorkshire’s electricity.
Now it sputters, incandescent, thoughts descending effortless,
rehashing the same conversations 30 seconds apart
like his mind’s still trying to re-harness Spitfire hearts, but it can’t.

He can’t.

Some days he won’t remember my name, and one day I won’t remember his.
Victims of life’s same disease;
cruel victory for outliving and outlasting contemporaries and timelines.
The consequence of resiliency is to have his thoughts
and his contexts
and his discourse ripped from him,
on top of the Parkinson’s that already effects his grip on things
– I think, caused from war-torn sands entrenched beneath his fingertips.
Bolts rattle fragile behind his knees,
rust beaten in by that same war’s Egyptian seas.

Engineer for the airships, I question if his brain still remembers
that meticulous process.
If when he sleeps he still works for Yorkshire Electricity Board in his dreams.
Once you’ve lost your mind, is there time to dream?

Some days he won’t remember my name.
One day I won’t remember his.


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