Ronnie elegy

Photo by JoeBlood

I remember well that sweltering summer.
Sky bright at 1 am,
no breeze to blow the dark in,
blackout blinds and fans whispering.
Still sleep was difficult,
years before whale-song tapes
and Victor Meldrew.
Though we had our own versions.
Little brother Rich,
unable even to doze,
amusing himself with pursed lips,
tongue clicks,
and implosions of air.
Paap! Poop! Paap! Poop!
The beat dropping my eyelids….
…. at …. last.
Come 6 am,
Dad and me first up,
for the factory shifts.
‘Munin.’, mumbling and stumbling
into socks and steel-cappers.
‘This is the second night…’ he said,
‘I’ve not slept at all …
… can’t go on.’
No breakfast telly to distract
from the bread-winning,
I mentioned the heat first.
‘Heatwave til the weekend da.’ I ventured.
‘No … well, that as well, but,
I’ve been up at 2 and 3.
There’s somebody outside,
playing tennis.’

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