• Vol. 05
  • Chapter 09
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C20, C60, C90

In magnetic tape whirr,
After synchronised fingers
One left hand one right

Clunk green arrowed play and red spotted record
Buttons feel physical lift
Of inserted cassette, see black plastic rolls
Register numbers as it rolled
To record tracks on John Peel
Between ten and eleven at night.
Always anxious tape would not end
before the track, or become rammelled up.

Later, in Sunderland for a month,
I press those buttons again
To see the wheels turn
tape Uncle Jimmy's memories
of our family's old milk delivery business,
Stables and farm life in a courtyard
of rented buildings beside a duck pond.

Amid tales of favourite horses
who pulled the churn laden cart
clattered hooves down town streets
where folk ran up with empty porcelain jugs
can be heard his wife, my Aunty Winny's
chuckles. I told them I was vegetarian,
So they gave me two slices of thin cut ham.
All they could afford on a small pension.