The town of Runcorn is situated on the River Mersey across from Widnes. I was born in Runcorn, next to the Manchester Ship Canal which is separated from the Mersey by a wall. There have been a number of bridges built between the two towns, the oldest being the Railway Bridge. This poem is about being dragged across the Railway Bridge as a child.
she dragged me snivelling across the Old Bridge
my hand in hers my head not in her reality
for my Mother the wooden walkway was solid
immutable older then her 42 years
I only perceived the spaces between the boards
each held a view of the Mersey far below
and I expected to fall through every gap
somersault the thin air and be lost in the tidal race
cold swift and patient as I knew it to be
this was not to be the last time we walked to Runcorn
Thanks to the Secret Poets for their invaluable assistance.Here is a redraft, again with the Secrets help. You can read the first version here.
Witches want your empty eggshells
so they can sail to sea
and summon storms to drown the sailors.
This is a fact. I know.
I was born beside the water
in the shadow of the old Transporter Bridge.
My uncles worked the Ship Canal
tugmen, exempt from The Call Up
free to drink each St Monday dry.
My mother was at war with them
the hostilities endless.
I could never fathom the reason
and she was not the kind you’d ask
even when I was grown and she frail
with aching hands of knotted oak.
Besides by then we lived across the river.
A word to the wise though -
always break your eggshells.
The layout has changed, as have a couple of words.I suspect this is possibly the finished article.
Here's some Soca from Black Stalin.Until next time.