The family silver

1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 Never really knew my mother’s father.
All I remember: tuft of nostril hair,
spied from sitting on his knee; hoard
of half-hidden threepenny pieces
slipped into a sandpit outside the lido.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 In pictures he looks a decent man.
Worked until death for just one firm,
service interrupted by overseas
trip lasting several years. Given
leave when his father was killed.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 After France and Germany, retreated
for his holidays to the mud
of Weston-super-Mare. On marriage
his football club gave him a cruet set,
inscribed 1922. Team photo dated 24-25.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Found the never-used, tarnished cruet set
in my mother’s cabinet; rescued it.
My wife made it shine again like new,
saying, laughing: “At last! We finally
have some family silver to look after.”

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 It sits now on a long-dead great-aunt’s
chest of drawers, close to the footballers
in their baggy shorts. The treasure of objects;
relatives who never really go away.
Good that my grandmother still let him play.



I thought posting this poem today might help take people’s minds off last night’s awful England display – the worst home defeat since 1928. (Even though I look forward to someone saying that the England that lost 6-3 at home to the Hungarians in the 1950s weren’t so bad after all!) This poem is not just about football, obviously, but it always surprises me how many of my poems have a football element in them, somewhere. It’s also the first poem in my latest pamphlet collection, The Fall of Singapore, available from Dempsey & Windle https://www.dempseyandwindle.com/gregfreeman.html

Source: https://footballpoets.org/poems/the-family-silver/