RETURN TO CAERYDD

After Dannie Abse

 

that miscellany of lost things

a pint of Brains at Cardiff Arms Park

donkey rides at Porthcawl

tickets to the eisteddfod

Sully TB hospital Penarth

the lonely gum in Roath Park

planted in our dad’s memory

without approval

 

the pull to return

banished with the 50 foot tides

by the Cardiff Bay barrage

the stink of mud flats

speckled with boats

no more now the harbour’s neutered

gone with GKN’s steelworks at East Moors

along with most of the jobs in town

our dad’s first job post war

 

Sunday drives in the Vauxhall

windows fogged

the stench of the works and the docks

by Tiger Bay

that old family game who farted

now glass and shiny surfaces

flash boats moored in the bathtub

travellers moved on from their wasteland

 

all gone until the satellite map

closes on our Llanrumny street unvisited

and then the fence I remember running past

blurred as on my first day at school

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