IN THE HEYDAYS OF HIS EYES
(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
 
 
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CHILD WITH A CAUSE

Moira Andrew

My grandmother was chicken-plump. She wore long earrings, smelled of Pear's soap and lavender water. She kept cream in a jug under a blue-beaded net. Grandfather kept us both on a tight rein, our place at the kitchen sink. When Gran's mind slipped slightly out of gear I was her memory. Nearly always, that is. She peeled potatoes once, put them ready for grandfather's tea and forgot to light the gas. He was furious. I saw Gran's tears. Upstairs, in the narrow hall I waited, scuffing the turkey-red rug. He took his time. The flush thundered. His shape vultured against the door. I was raw as carrion. 'It's not fair. You made Gran cry.' He lunged at me. 'How dare you, child? How dare you speak to me like that?' Picked clean by anger I ran. 'Don't mind him,' my grandmother said. 'He likes his tea on time.' The matter was closed. Grandfather tore into his beef stew and mashed potatoes. I pushed my plate away.

 
 
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