What I didn’t know

‘I surrender’ mum shouted in church halls, leaving

brown powder and an army of lovers on the battlefield,

she spread her fingers and felt her kicking womb.

I was the wrong way round,

her stomach was sliced

and I lifted out.

I came with the great storm of 1987.

Giant roots were ripped from the ground,

violent winds left volcanoes of tarmac

and roofs of rubble.

Cars crushed, wheezing their last fumes, 

suffocated by oaks lying across them.

One of Nature’s tantrums,

reminding us who’s King.

My sister, Eleanor, is born in 1989.

Dark ringlets worm across her soft boiled head,

her eyes are unblinking kaleidoscopes of woodland,

browns and greens wrestle in the arena of her iris.

I’m an old shoe discarded for something shinier,

I maul her until I love her.

Meanwhile, a pilot shuts down the wrong engine,

and bodies are flung along the M1.

Satanic verses burn in one Pennine city,

and later football chants and sirens

echo through Sheffield.