Matthew Stewart has published two pamphlets with HappenStance Press. He lives between Extremadura, Spain and West Sussex, and he blogs at roguestrands.blogspot.com
Like a wolf at choice prey, I’d gorge
on doughnuts, jam coating my teeth.
White-smocked and jelly-baby-eared,
our local baker always winked
from over the counter. One day
he ushered me through and brandished
a skin-tingling syringe that placed
the heart in depths of gooey flesh.
He showed me how to bring to life
my own plump little Frankenstein.
An ochre dusk through the window,
stewed apples sighing from the hob
and slippers squeaking back and forth
on the lino. Mum’s become Gran,
Son now Dad, but a boy still plays
at the same Formica table.
This kitchen’s hub, its ersatz knots
are giving off a perfect shine.
Instructions For Coming Home
Your fingers will have to trespass
through umpteen kitchen drawers. Let them.
The gas rings will purr. That’s their sound.
Hack at a spud. Defy its eyes
with your knife. Crack eggs and watch them
splutter. You’ll remember this smell
used to greet you at the front door.
Lever them free, the spatula
no less a tool than any spade.
Now confront the day, bite by bite.
[‘Carnivore’ – previously published in Ambit 217. ‘Formica’ – previously published in The Rialto 70 and Inventing Truth (HappenStance Press, 2011). ‘Instructions for Coming Home’ – 2nd prize short section of the Plough Prize 2009 and also published in Inventing Truth (HappenStance Press, 2011).]