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Aug 9
EVERY LITTLE FISH CAN SWIM

1893
saw the beginning of me.

I was born
in a railway carriage

between somewhere
and somewhere else

in an Europe that
would change with the map

the lines redrawn
by War

some unpronouncable
European nowhere.

A barrel *****
was playing a tune that

would soon be forgotten
on the station platform

when Mamma and I
arrived

at our final destination
the train breathing like a dragon.

Its whistle
cutting through time.

Later I would remember
a little wooden acorn

at the end of a string on the blind
tapping against the window

as if it were admonishing
the dawn demanding

entrance to
the room when I was three and

pulling the blind up and then
pulling the blind down.

"Shadow people"
thrown against the wall

would not survive
a morning.

All night they chattered
amongst themselves

prowling the room
that was holding me.

Debating whether to
eat me now or later.

"Beings" merely made from
the edge of a wardrobe or

a chest of drawers
the brass **** at the end of

my bed where clothes
thrown over a chair

made them come alive
I believe

in them until
I was nearly seven.

Too scared to ***
in the porcelain ***

wetting the bed
to the anger of Mama.

And now 1963
will more than likely see

the end of me
as I am

and the mind
that created who I was

offers me these
fragments of insignificance

that amount
to being a life.

I laugh as Noël  
Coward warbles

in his shellac'd world
forever singing

"But I can't do anything at all
but just love you!"
I used to look after this chap who loved Coward as much as I and we would sing all the songs together as I cleaned him up or fed him. He showed me his Dad's diary and the last entry was basically this...so I thought it deserved not to fade away so I wanted to bring him back to a life in words!
Donall Dempsey
Written by
Donall Dempsey  Guildford
(Guildford)   
88
 
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