I am born by Caesarian section at 9:30 AM
in Princess Mary's Maternity Hospital
on the 24th May, sixty years ago today,
dangled by the ankle, smacked across the bum,
swaddled in a blanket howling like a wheel.
My big brother Iain on his tip-toes hisses 'I don't like him'.
He's Maradona, I'm Peter Beardsley, chasing a ball through the mud
followed by the kitchen window, bellowing through the fern:
'Boys! Dinner's ready!'
Dad is tuning in the telly beyond a heaving mountain of spaghetti hoops.

I am nothing
You are nothing
Nothing important
Death within a dream

Petrified on the back of a pedallo in the Balearic Sea off Alcudia
I can see the ghost of my uncle Derek waving to us from the beach,
gently drifting out of reach,
the telephone reciever swinging by its cord,
a glass of broken beer expanding on the lino.
My mam slips into the coffin
a polaroid of his sweetheart
Clutching Good-Luck Bear I peer gingerly over the side,
press my nose up to the tide,
and there behold a barracuda chewing on a chrysanthemum
and a family of clownfish hovering in the corpse's hair.

In the scullery of the cub-hut my clarinet falls
into a sack of flour - a flurry of pins
squashed into the leather handle
a crescent moon of stricken fig-wasps.
Drizzling my fingers with The Magic Sponge
Dad says 'we'll probably have to chop them off'.
He collapses like a canvas tent on the floodlit astroturf
rent with a fibula guide-rod poking a hole through his shin
There are teardrops in his moustache
charging a flute of champagne
down the aisle and out for a throw-in
A St.John ambulance careers between the sugary pillars of the wedding cake

A crystal spoon
A pewter tankard
these words inscribed upon the base:
A toby jug filled to the brim with curtain hooks
A sheepskin rug discoloured with tobacco smoke
within it's braids concealed a rank
of plastic soldiers set to burst underfoot
Berwick in oils: a skiff on the swollen tweed
cradling a false pearl
a ceramic seraph
with an ashtray for a brain
- and I don't care about these things
Why do they remain so clear while the faces of my loved ones disappear?

A Rington's plate
a forking hairline seam of superglue through the Black Gate
a digital photoframe
frozen on an blurry orange thumb
I remember all these things
Old karate trophies
I am tethered by these things
Thimbles and pesatas
I remember all these things
A roll of Woolworth's price stickers
I can see all these things but
where have all my people gone?

In the end it wasn't meant to be.
He was the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen.
He survived for seven days
before he slipped away