Graham Clifford

Samuel wants to know

if it is home time at twenty past nine
and whether or not I am a plant.

I made him fold himself together
and asked into his eyes
if he really wasn’t sure,
watching this time to see.
He really isn’t sure.
The basics are not agreed.

Here might be miles away, or here
but six years ago
which could mean pterodactyls
or Victoria in all the greys
scowling at a commonwealth of bastardisations
in a photocopied middle distance.

His written word vaporises,
grey smudges sink through the page fibres
into another now.

I want to explain to him that I forgot
the swarms of water fleas
doing a golden jig in streams, but
that they never went anywhere.

I want reassure him there is
plenty of time, but that is just for me
and he knows I’m already at least

…ninety-eight, ninety-nine, a hundred!

Graham Clifford is an award winning poet. He was born in Portsmouth, grew up in Wiltshire and lives in London with his partner and two daughters. His pamphlet, Welcome Back to the Country, and full collection, The Hitting Game are published by Seren. His pamphlet collection, Computer Generated Crash Test Dummies is published by The Black Light Engine Room, and his collection, Well, is published by Against The Grain. He has a MA in creative writing from UEA and is a Head teacher. Graham Clifford’s poetry has been described as having ‘coolly brutal frankness.’ His fifth collection, In Charge of the Gun, is published by the Black Light Engine Room. www.grahamcliffordpoet.com