Susan Jordan lives in Devon. She read English at Oxford, has an MA in Creative Writing (poetry and fiction) from Bath Spa University. She won the Maytree Press Three Trees Portfolio Award. Her work has appeared in various magazines and anthologies.
You had your stories: how you rode
an old bike with no brakes; how you
and your friends tied door-knockers
together with string, knocked and ran away;
how you couldn’t solder a spectacle frame
but passed with honours anyway;
how students from your polytechnic
marched through the streets in rag week
with a stuffed carrot on a pole;
how you played practical jokes more cruel
than you understood in the telling.
From Mum I heard your parents
treated you unkindly, you were bullied
by other boys,
how your brother-in-law didn’t like you,
your misshapen legs plagued your life.
Before you married you’d had
a cupboard full of empty bottles.
You’d been a communist like your brother,
till Mum, fearing McCarthy, got rid of your books.
You were an atheist, always a Jewish one.
What I knew of you wasn’t the stories:
long country walks on summer Sundays,
football and cricket in the garden,
your eyes glazed with tears as you listened to music;
the way we kept missing each other.
Poem published in pamphlet Last of the Line, Maytree Press, 2021
pamphlet, Last of the Line, 2021, Maytree Press
collection, I never think dark will come, 2021, Oversteps Books
collection, A House of Empty Rooms, 2017, Indigo Dreams
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