Swapping Places With Grandad

by Matilda Houston-Brown

he wants to run again,
like the golden man on the top shelf
who gathers the dust,
stick left behind, feet in the mud,
camping and carbolic soap and
kissing a young and joyous wife,
and walking up stairs without that nagging
tug of frustration,
because it is beautiful to be young and ready to run,
and read in dim light without your eyes hurting,

he can have that, from me,
if he likes,
and I will stay inside,
going to church, watching a film.
laughing and knowing the things that you know and
circling programmes in the Radio Times,
and surrounding myself with my grown up children,
who still sometimes argue with me.
because it is terrifying to be young and angry,
and seeing, so clearly, the things you will never be able to change.