The Grampy Trap

Holding sway in her regal armchair,
Nan says you could have at least
had a bloody shave as I kiss her.

It is the day she is Ninety:
photograph placed in the local newspaper,
the red beret she wore to Blackpool.

China sets unused for aeons
are liberated from cabinets, sideboards.
The clack of fine-bone cups and saucers.

Aunties serve a century's worth
of sandwiches, pork pies, vol-au-vents,
Bell's whisky and luncheon meat.

In the back yard, past the disused toilet,
the alley door swings against brick,
as if kicked back each time it shuts.

Beyond the warm clamour of the sitting room,
the unhinged door slams as if a faraway cannon
is dredging the docks for the drowned.

As children, we would place a water-bucket on top,
balancing on a stricken wheelbarrow to reach.
The Grampy Trap set for the faceless man

who left and never stopped leaving.

Published in The Stony Thursday Book