Monday, 18 October 2010
The others are here:
I wrote this one in Rochdale. It's the only poem I've ever written in Rochdale. It's the only poem I've written in the whole of Lancashire.
Jack has accepted me as part of his pack.
He smells of carpet offcuts left on the midden.
He greets me with a no nonsense sniff of the crotch
and leans in close, though the kitchen chair is only made for one.
Outside, we are never more than ten yards from a tennis ball,
some split like a dead rat, some with vestiges of yellow.
His eyes glisten with a passion; all he wants,
all he seems to live for, is this moment.
I pick up a ball. He is instantly alert,
intent on my hand, the slightest movement and he’s off.
I thwack it as far as I’m able, down the far field;
he catches, brings it back, I throw, he fetches, brings it back
I overarm, he retrieves, brings it back,
I hurl, he loses it, finds it, brings it back.
His face, his grubby beard, his black nose
his eyes, his big dark eyes. This is what thanks looks like.