Kenny And Arthur
Kenny and Arhur.
They owned our house until my father bought it.
They owned all the houses in that street and the store on the corner.
And all the garages too.
Kenny and Arthur, they parked their Rolls Royce Silver Cloud outside our house
And I would play on it when I was a young child,
Climbing over it in my summer sandals, sliding around on it and putting sticky fingers all over the outside mirrors.
Kenny knocked at our house one evening and said, your daughter is ruining our car.
I guess I hadn't realised it was a car.
Kenny of Kenny and Arthur used to blink a lot
And I thought blinking was a sign of kindness,
So I tried blinking whenever I was in trouble
Because I didn't understand.
And the days of summer stretched out like long forsaken islands,
Of laziness, buzzing bees and sweeties sticking to my clothes.
Petal-less flowers in a haze of heated sun,
For the petals were gone,
Blown in the summer wind.
And my mother bought all our food from Kenny and Arthur's store
And she went to the butcher to buy all the meat she needed
And she stood cooking in the kitchen,
Nervous, like the kitchen was haunted.
And it was haunted with all the emotion being spilled as she cooked and laboured
Amid the hum of the washing machine and the little red light that always glowed,
Like a devil's eye.
Then Kenny and Arthur grew a little bit older
And they patted me on the head until I became a little bit taller
And they were part of who I was,
Giving me gifts of cardboard cut-outs from the store.
And I coverted each gift,
Saving everything in my own quiet world.
I don't know why I think of Kenny and Arthur
They might be dead now or very much older.
And it's still there now, that tree lined street,
That garage next to our old house,
The one with my finger prints and secret whispers engrained in the wood.
Secret symphonies of childhood,
Still there now.
Solemn as a bell.