Saturday, April 30, 2016

Campbell's soup.

My father was addicted to Heinz tomato soup. 
Warhol only painted Campbells'. 
It will do. 
It will have to do.
A can is a can is a can.

There were cupboards full of cans:
  • Of Heinz tomato soup
There were cupboards full of jumble:
  • Of unworn , previously worn clothes: oversized shirts, trousers, suits, jackets, coats, a round leather box of greasy oversized dog-collars.

The shoes, socks, belts (being adjustable) would still have fit.

The slippers (no longer needed) were under the bed.

He was no longer eating.

It was a morning like this morning.  

So many years on, I find myself mourning yet.

Morning mourning.

It was a morning like this morning.

All horizons were reduced to grey, all was drizzle.

"You can go upstairs, you'll probably be shocked...."

Was it my sister who said those words? 

I may have imagined them.

They will do.

What is truth?

My mother was pottering in the kitchen.

There wasn't much left to do...

I went up the creaking stairs.

I went along the creaking corridor.

I passed the embroidery on the greying walls, the sheets and spare blankets in the chest of drawers.

The door was half open.

I stepped over the threshold.

The room smelt of decay.

The curtain fabric was shredding, its geometric patterns fading, its colour a mourning green.

I don't know if I touched him.

I would like to think I did.

I don't remember if I said that I loved him.

I would like to have thought that I did.

I honestly don't remember too well now.

I couldn't write this when it was raw...when I would have remembered.

It was too raw.

I couldn't face it.

I couldn't face this scene.

I didn't want to go back into the room.

It was his final resting place.

It was the noise which shocked me.

The inflatable mattress to avoid bed sores groaned as it was inflated, as it was inflated.

His head was at an angle, his mouth half open, his eyes shut, his lashes barely flickered.

He groaned, breath by breath.

No continence, no continence, no continence.

It was the smell which repelled me.

His face was more skull.

His smile was more rictus.

His hands, I must have touched him, I must have touched him.

His hands were bones.

There was little softness left.

There was no recognition of my presence.

I must have touched him, I must have touched him.

Didn't I?

I looked at the trouser press.

I looked at the television, its screen covered in dust.

I looked through the steamed up window panes. 

It was autumn.

It was autumn wasn't it?

It was autumn in spring perhaps.

It wasn't winter surely.

It surely wasn't summer.

I backed out of the room.

I walked along the corridor.

I passed the embroidery.

Saying nothing.

My sister and my mother were sitting on the sofa.

Were they sitting on the sofa?

We said nothing.

All was drizzle.

A corpse is a corpse is a corpse.

I never saw the corpse.

My father lives differently.

He is not a corpse.

Are we to be landfill?

I would like to think not.

I saw the rainbow stretch out over the levels.

I saw it arc over Glastonbury Tor.

All was drizzle.

I wept.

A can is a can is a can.

It was Heinz not Campbell's.


  1. A pic from the margins:

  2. A powerful, heartfelt, detailed piece. Love the rhythm. Thanks for sharing this link now five years past. Be well, friend.