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November 27, 2023
"Mes de los Muertos"


By Stephen Kingsnorth


The dipper, rocking on his bolder watch,
alert, in crowded camouflage, discreet,
magnetic hands at ten to two, scarf smoothed
with charm, the smile and words to reassure,
observed by none, a gesture, token, trove
to join the piling posts in fencing shed.

Grandfather’s own from warring fields,
the wallet slipped, worn-leather shine,
is soon binned skip, of no account,
what worth that life-held photo snap?
It sandwiched with paninis, wraps
pork chops and pȃté, jumbled food.

Surveying bins for easy trash,
amongst pre-packed day-before date,
she saw pigskin beneath the tripe,
patina pointing to her Dad --
before the crush about her life --
and needed it before the scraps.

Her whorled prints scraped the bacon fat,
and there the image, pipe in mouth,
for grandparent she never knew
became the pin-up she withdrew.
Between the paper sheets and card,
it tucked, her corrugated love.

Article © Stephen Kingsnorth. All rights reserved.
Published on 2022-12-26
Image(s) are public domain.
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