His Wife Was An Electrician by Gareth Culshaw
I never knew if he liked oranges or apples as he ate both
at the same time. His wife was an electrician fed the house
light bulbs through pringle tubes. She had wired him up
for years and when he walked you saw him leaning
on a lamppost as if running out of battery. They were married
for the length of my childhood. He made scones on a Tuesday,
and bread on a Wednesday. Brought them to the local school.
We spread butter with our ironed palms, used lego teeth
to change the shape of the food in our mouths. He walked
his dog every day with a brown belt for a lead. His flat cap
fizzed with electrodes that his wife planted in there before he left.
If our ball landed in the garden we knocked with our feet
hoped the rubber soles kept us alive. He answered through
the letterbox, talked out of a tuba mouth. His wife watched
us from the living room window as we hovered above the lawn.
Daffodils grew along the borders and other plants, teachers
talked about in springtime lessons. I knew the colours,
but the shapes eluded my empty brain. We left with quick
feet, closed the gate, and jumped back onto the earth.
Gareth lives in Wales. He has two collections by FutureCycle called The Miner & A Bard's View. He is a current student of Manchester Met.