In Jason’s garden, where their Great Dane crapped in the long grass, we deployed platoons of soldiers, battery-driven tanks. Jason wanted for no toy in reason, his dad ran a pub in town. His mum would ask me to stay for tea, give Jason a pound for the ice cream van.
That summer, Jason told me he was getting a new brother. The Great Dane died of a heart attack. His dad lost the pub. His mum
still brought us beans on toast to perch on knees for Saturday Grandstand on the big colour TV. His dad, relaxed, in the armchair with a cigarette, Pools and pen to check the scores. Around us,
salvage – stacked kettles, toasters, TV sets in the hall and living room. Jason’s dad making his new job work at the council tip, for his boys, their mum. The recovery already going on.
Benedict’s poems have been published in Ambit, Magma, Orbis, Acumen, Other Poetry, Prole, Borderlines and South Bank Poetry. He also makes poetry films – The Royal Oak was commissioned for Channel 4’s Random Acts.