your sniper aim, those bruises
– darting, chasing, finding our defining joy.
After, once we washed our hands, Gran
made us sit at the table.
She treated us to Welsh cakes heaped
on a cracked plate.
Our faces flushed russet red with warfare.
The cakes tasted the best –
almost burnt. The bake stone glistened.
Keys turn beneath these leaves.
I hear a flight of wings, an emptying of nests.
You in that uniform.
Me clapping as loud as I could.
Mr Williams Goes Running
before the clocking-in
measures another day:
past the castle towers
and ghosted schools, that weight
of flightless hours; beyond
chapels of faded flowers
and lightless houses; around
the old cobbled harbour
of anchored names, rippling
the ink, a slap of chains –
silhouettes waving on
the neap. He hears their sigh
over the pebbled pages.
He tastes the salt of sails.
We liked the way it bubbled, plopped –
how the flames tickled round the pan.
He picked berries from allotments.
‘An imperial splendour,’ he said. ‘See how
they sag and leak.’
He stirred in a spoonful of honey.
Mum buys frozen. Leaves the berries
overnight in Tupperware to ‘breathe.’
Our microwave heats the porridge
in two minutes. It hums like bees.
Mum potted a blueberry bush,
gathered a spoonful of fruit. It died
like all things must.