Iain Twiddy

Two Poems


We were at Grandma’s house for the last time,
my mother, sister and me. While they slept
I read, under a blanket, on the edge

of the camp bed. The slow glow of the fire
imprinting the flickering plain before Troy.
I read of Telemachus and his men

beaching in the sandy light of Pylos,
driving on hard into the Spartan hills,
the rolling lands where horses run thunder,

stunned at his going in to the palace —
just speaking to Menelaus, Helen,
like they were real people. I sat and heard

the king tell of the recon, the belly,
of his hold over Proteus tightening
like the thickening speech marks, read forgetting

where I was, forgetting the funeral
in the cloud-clawed morning, read in a grip
deeper than blinking or breath, till that pat

of the kid’s head, Telemachus there, a son
fully grown, like the lack of his own.
The camp bed must have creaked. The low fire clicked.

I wonder did I think of my father
already laid to rest, or departed,
or barely sleeping, just the other side

of a wall which was just as well the world.


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