On the Beach with Chet Baker

I Come From

I come from a suburb waiting forever
for the train to London,
from smashed windows, graffiti,
fog on the platform,
skinheads and fights
if you look the wrong way
I come from clean handkerchiefs,
dinner money, God,
please and sorry one hundred times over,
draft excluders and double glazing
I come from Chambers Etymological Dictionary,
maths tables, 11+, Look & Learn,
an almost complete set of Observer I-spy books,
from a family of teachers and yet more teachers,
an Orkney grandfather, a Shropshire grandma,
from no accent at all
I come from kindness
I come from doh-reh-me: The Sound of Music,
recorders, clarinets, a pianola
all the way from Scotland
I come from sin and masturbation,
rats behind the garage,
and a man who followed me
back from the library
I come from silence
I come from a garden
from my father mowing the lawn into the dark,
from fences, walls, gates and hedges,
Cuthberts seed packets, The Perfect Small Garden,
from the sound through the night
of trains, trains, trains.

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Robert Seatter
Poet, Performer, Broadcaster and Arts Professional