and in the shop…
“Tasting the Sweet Cold”,
“Last of the Line”,
“I never think dark will come”,
“A House of Empty Rooms”,
The van stood round the corner from school
by the green with the willow tree, making sure
we wouldn’t miss its ding-dong tune.
The other children queued to buy sculpted ice cream
with strawberry trails and a chocolate flake
that shattered at each bite.
My mother called it common. I sneaked
to my father’s wardrobe, that smelt of him
and leather and brilliantine and metal.
On the shelf stood neat brass towers
of threepenny bits. I ran a fingernail
down one of them, lifted the top coin.
My hand closed round it. Nobody
would know there was one short.
I fondled it in my pocket, tasting the sweet cold.