He drove a pale blue Ford Anglia,
sometimes you would ride on the rear wings

travelling through the lanes
at twenty-miles an hour.

There was a hollowed oak tree
that he called the witches house

and you would scream
as you passed and jeer, all at once.

Your destination was the water –
the river Darenth running across the ford,

as my destination, today, is the sea and Seaford,
arriving on a black 1250 Bandit, helmet and leathers.

Waiting for the sound of water on shingle to soothe
to restore, to relive younger years.

Hot metal clinking as it cools, tea steaming in a mug
on the café bench, gradually losing heat enough to drink.

Remembering that wasp sting on my bum
as I sat down naked beside the stream,
except for a towel, and cried all the way home.

How I cycled through country lanes to that same home
to visit my grandma, Nan, when Granpop had died,
how we struck up conversation, passed time…

The skin of her hands translucent, like mother’s, both in that place
called hospital, only a step away from the Chapel of Rest.

And I cycled to Bournemouth, to reclaim our Morris Minor
from my brother for a while. Bought for us by an elderly friend –

Marie. How we smiled and hugged, as if we had already found
a happy cluster of tomorrows…



To Eynsford with Granpop