A coat hanger in the attic


snow angelYou might draw a basking snake,
curled within the curl of a branch
or the flicking tail of a ringed lemur
on your shoulder in Madagascar;

your pen might take that curve,
those unprepossessing angles,
unnerve them into some fantastic creature:
a post-rock poster for a band

thumping and droning on Icelandic shores
where prone people let the beat
wash like a tide that knows no odds
between now and forever;

or, apocalyptic, you might conjure
waves of hangers just like this, twists
of wire spiralling like triffids, bursting
from dry-cleaners’ shops to seize the streets…

but I remember coats. The black, the green
and especially the red one, a gash,
a splash of smile against the grey
like the way you shone

the day we climbed up Beamsley Beacon,
saw Yorkshire glow in wagtail grey and yellow
and we made snow angels.
In the afternoon we found a village café

strangely stuffed with model railway parts
for children to dream up new worlds
and dads to condense theirs
in attic rooms that maybe look like yours

with unused hangers in a recess
of might-have-beens. I hope they know
that miles away someone a bit like you
is adventuring, has got their coat, their smile.



2 thoughts on “A coat hanger in the attic

  1. just wanted to let you know i have been reading your poems all year – they seem really good but a bit too clever for me to understand!well done on your brilliance xxx

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