My Father’s Boxes


Rarely,
they’d come down
from airless shelves:
big biscuit tins-

reliquaries of dark knowledge:
some secret past,
remnants of plans;
riddled with fuses, cut wires,
Plugs,
rusted tools,
bent nails
bedded in shavings
an assortment of blunt pencils,
symbols to me
of what men discard
in their attempts to remake themselves.

And like most cupboarded hopes
the ghost of their subtext
forlornly mumbling
“you never know when
that’ll come in handy”.

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