The nameless grandfather


Somewhere between Helsinki and Talinn
(lost between the sheets of popular songs)
drifts the elopement that might once have been
planned in Sidney Scarborough’s music shop. Wings
of fantasy lifted her, quavers shook
her Hull back streets: to skate on Baltic ice
became her dream. Her sailor would be back,
his unsigned vow inked on a fugue by Liszt.
He left a set of Finnish spoons, a pledge,
unfinished business. Maybe he did mean
to gild his Lily. Or perhaps his badge
was marked on kids from Stockholm to Stettin.
There’s no name, only handwriting – a mask.
A war broke out. There’s no one left to ask.



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