Jul. 9, 2017


94 Ranelagh Road Autumn 1947

His birth home - three
stories over basement -
up ten granite steps
to the front door

Victorian grandeur
- now a tenement -
stairs and landings
oil lamp lit at night

A country family
below stairs
would bring turf
- a lorry load

tipped over
wrought iron
spiked railings
onto the grass

The boy - aged three
in tiny dungarees
equipped with a
net shopping bag

traipsed turf
sod at a time
down the long
narrow garden -

in through the
darkened flat to
be well stacked
out in the yard

He steady marched
as the day went on
through the drizzle -
on important work

Later in the evening
- exhaustion then fever

Next day an ambulance
- his first near death

Peter Clarke