• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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Granddad and the Unbutterflies

Grandad only did a few jobs around the house.
The heart condition meant he mostly sat and smoked
or stared into the abyss of the white wall opposite.

When mum was frantic with bills and final demands
and we three kids were bouncing off those walls,
she would roll her screaming head into his nine pin legs and shout;
Take them out dad! Get rid of them now!

Us three would grab our hats and fusty butterfly nets,
buzz around him like crazy insects,
do the dance of ADHD glee.

Grandad walked ahead of us with his fags,
a Lowry figure with no idea of how to entertain children.
He blanked our eager questions;
Will we see a Red Admiral?
How long does a butterfly live?

We forgot butterflies at the park
and plumped for punch-ups and tag.
He found a bench and lit up.

Before the hour was over he slipped on that jacket
that smelled of old man and tension.
He gathered up the unused nets,
as we swooped and flitted around him.