Utter

I have always suffered
a mild clumsiness –
just now – trying to read
that line back – aloud –
it got rooted in my mouth –
not stuck in my throat –
not in my swallowing –
that feared future loss –

but in the lip-and-tongue
place of speeches –
I now have to think
the form of the word
to make the shape
of its known weight –
to make it heard –
this is no deal I wish
as part of my illness –

I hear the precision
of the speech therapist –
his repeat of the exercises
which I had forsaken
until now – late in the day
as my words stick
like soft toffees and cake
among my loose teeth


 

This Older Driver

I want our lowering sun to burn
for a much – much – longer last hour –
or more – and brighter than now

I do not want to be driving
on those sunken country roads
into the skulk of dusk’s gloom –
and then turned back through black

I wish to see clearly tonight where
the patch of tarmac starts and ends
on the threaded bends and turns –

without the switch of dipped lights
or the blinding others’ high beams –

they set me to groping
as a blind man gropes

I’ll weave between the unseen deer

Naked Killer Dolls

One could stand by herself,
being a Pedigree model,
but her voice had gone,
her real hair discoddled,

knots of locks trimmed
by nibbling vermin.
Two dolls from the loft
in one box, both hiding:

I brought them down,
as found, unbidden,
with rolled back eyes:
old toys, MADE IN BRITAIN.

From the same place
a thin negro doll,
but more limbs missing,
no hands to hold.

They sit mute and watchful,
reading us, the shocked,
with unabashed stares
and glass-eye looks.

We play tricks on the kids,
which becomes quite droll,
the unexpected placing of
those naked killer dolls.