dem bones

for a bottle of red
a coat hanger
the school gardener
would make us boys a
skeleton out of
that coat hanger
working with pliers
a bunsen burner he
bent metal round
around through gave
wire ribs a pelvis a
skull it was a game
the shed was hot
you had to unlink
his thigh-bones to
make him dance he
burnt your fingers
the gardener took off his
vest remember the
smell of black-orange
metal he gave you a
mug of warm wine 
how does a skeleton
dance anyway you
could feel the pliers
on your thigh-bones
the bunsen’s flame
do you still play his game
boys have you seen
metal glow brighter
since those shed-days

Related Poems

Home is so Sad

Home is so sad. It stays as it was left,
Shaped to the comfort of the last to go
As if to win them back. Instead, bereft
Of anyone to please, it withers so,
Having no heart to put aside the theft

And turn again to what it started as,
A joyous shot at how things ought to be,
Long fallen wide. You can see how it was: 
Look at the pictures and the cutlery.
The music in the piano stool. That vase.