Last week, I found an old folder in a draw, covered in dust: old bits of writing, half-finished stories, poems, ghosts of ideas from years ago. Most of them were dire, some I will re-structure and mend, develop, others I’ll share with the bin.
I recently lost my grandfather, which is possibly why I’m looking back, reflecting a lot. I found this poem amongst the papers and it made me think of him. It still needs a lot of work and parts of it are sentimental and clichéd, but it’s old and I’m not a professional. Just thought I’d share.
The laces had been tied together
Like boxing gloves on a nail.
I picked them from the others
And held them in my hands.
I traced the surface, the tired skin,
Creases folding memories
Of places, pavements, years
A sandy beach,
Tucked by rocks as he
Ran towards the sea,
His laces loose, entire youth
A scratch of stick,
The scuff of bricks
Kicked across the yard;
The dented fingerprints of war,
The traceless steps I never saw.
I took them down and put them on,
My foreign feet sat awkwardly,
The carpet seemed too soft for them
So I stepped out to the concrete yard
And kicked a loose stone lazily.
The tongue gripped tight, a sudden wrap
That gave almost a gasp or laugh.