Playing with Form: Listing Poem

Dan’s Days
“Now my days are Dan days…”

You were born in York, ushered into a watery world on a wet, wet night, swimming limp and grey, to lie exhausted on me with an Apgar of three.
You were taken for oxygen and returned pink and screaming but calmed in my arms, cradled whilst I counted fingers and inspected toes, amazed at tiny new you.
You rested: seventeen hours sleeping sound; midwives woke me to tempt you, poor tired you; urged me to feed you and frowned.
You lived in Bubwith — your first home — hemmed in by rising water, stranded with family on high ground.
You were wrapped snug in freshly stitched blankets as new as you; blankets already rifled by burglars’ fingers as you made your way into this stormy world.
You took your first walks in the pram and watched a bride climb into a snorkelled army truck to be taken to her wedding — the only vehicle to enter or leave in over a week.
You took walks to see the slowly shrinking Derwent; watched the waters recede and saw the bridge slowly emerge from the flood.
You took your first trip to Selby when the road returned – wet and stained with earth, surrounded by still glittering fields and you saw pigs loaded onto pick-ups, piled high, dead and bloated with the water.
You moved house when you were three months old, took up residence in a sleepy Scottish village, propped in a wing chair by the coal fire, dozing through days like an old man.
You started to cruise the furniture in Crossmichael – missed out crawling; prambled along village and farm lanes, watching as trucks were piled with the corpses of sheep, victims of foot and mouth; once again cut off, this time by a tide of disinfectant.
You acquired a love of books, devoured all you could lay your hands on – grey mush peppering the floor about you as you sat drooling and pompous, propped by cushions.
You moved house again and learnt to crawl in Cilcain; forgot cruising and became enamoured with the floor; stared at it all day; ate Welsh muck and heard ‘ych y fi’.
You took your first flight with Malaysia Airlines, cooed at by friendly stewards and smiling passengers as you crawled after an ice cube up and down the aisle until it melted away from your grasp; you barely slept, never wept.
You found your feet in Phnom Penh in our little flat behind the palace, laughing as you managed three quick steps across the chequered floor and fell into my arms.
You rode your first motorbike in Phnom Penh, loved the rush of wind and the moto-dops’ teasing; learnt how to hail a moto by the time you could talk.
You found your words in Phnom Penh; found them in two languages easy as one, two, three, mouy, bpai, bpi?
You returned to Wales, we returned to family and you traded K’mai for Cymraeg, un, dau, tri…
You are again cut off by water but tall bridges suspend the isolation of the winking Straits; shiny sandbanks emerge at low tide and you roam in a wild garden with trees to climb and dens to be made – this is boy country…

About this Poem

© Ammie-oy 2010


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