What You Are. (For Roger McGough)

You are the moment between night and day
When the birds begin to sing and the houses glow as if ablaze

You are the cold side of the pillow
When I have drunk my weight in Magners cider and forgotten to take my make-up off

You are the key beneath the flowerpot
When I’ve spent all afternoon caught in the rain and lost my favourite handbag on the bus

You are the look on Oliver Tamworth’s face (the pompous little shit)
When he realises that Sarah Jones might actually write better poetry than he does

You are the sense of fortification that everybody gets
On the first of January when they vow to clean up/lose weight/learn to sew/make amends

You are the last copy of the Guinness Book of Records resting on the shelf
A wonder sitting alone amongst a world that passes it by without reproach or care

You are the cassette tape that still works
And sings out history

You are the moment that the people realise it is Summer
And start to wear fewer clothes and look more or less attractive (depending who they are)

You are the bottle of Veuve Clicquot that nobody can afford
And so instead it sits, ageing, gathering dust; a relic that is only admired from afar

You are the kiss of life given to a child
Who choked on a Roman coin worth thousands found in the garden

You are the infamous, dateless twenty pence piece
That I spent last night without knowing what it was worth

You are the moment she found out he was sleeping with somebody else
When he couldn’t hold it in and called her by the other one’s name

You are the shirt that doesn’t quite fit any more
Thanks to too many beers and fags and not enough sex

You are the orange telephone that I covet
The one that sits in the window in the North Laine and has done for a year

You are the pink nail varnish that I like to pick off
When I’m developing my skills in procrastination instead of working

You are the stray cat in the garden.
You are the missing zipper on my coat.
You are the salt and vinegar on Brighton pier…

That’s what you are.

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4 responses to “What You Are. (For Roger McGough)

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