Clearing his warden-assisted flat
days after the funeral,
this creased Box Brownie holiday photo
I find is enough to flood memory.
Sister and I, milk tooth smiles,
either side of Brylcreem-gloss father
in his prime on clifftops at Land’s End
and those words before we left:
we’re going to the end of the Earth.
Excited legs and feet in Woolworths’
plastic sandals behind the Zephyr’s bench seat.
White-hot beaches, sunburn, night scents
of calamine lotion, itching for Land’s End.
Mum saying cheese, and us, staring at nothing
but waves, folding and falling like skittles
behind the horizon. Father, I never did tell you –
when you said we’re at the end of the Earth,
for so long I believed you.
Paul’s poetry is published in Prole, Atrium, Obsessed With Pipework, Ink, Sweat & Tears, London Grip and elsewhere. Awarded second place in the 2019 Yaffle Prize, commended in the 2019 Welshpool Poetry Competition, his pamphlet ‘Quotidian’ is published by Yaffle. www.waringwords.blog Twitter: @drpaulwaring