My Grandpa … And Yours

My Grandpa …


could whistle

a blackbird

as good as

the real bird


red-shanks in the estuary,

drew finches and yellow hammers,

built nest boxes,

so he could study them closer

Stood five feet eight;

average height,

average weight,

wore white shirts and blue ties,

Had a moustache,

Old Spice

Drove very slowly,

Listened to me play my guitar,

he thought it was the radio!

Would have enjoyed,

you like tropical fish,

saw me,

every Wednesday


and you,

and Yours



sound like a horn

with his mouth,

better than

a real huntsman.


horses at the races,

fed them,

groomed them,

till they shone like conkers.

six foot,

tall for a jockey,

thin as a rein. Always

blue jeans and jodhpur boots.

a nose, like a pommel. Smelt of

horse manure.

too close to the car in front.

taught me how to show jump. Said

I needed more practice

is amazed,

you’re allergic to horses. Visits you

most years,

Christmas and Easter.

and yours,

smile from the photographs next to my bed.

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