Not the knowledge chosen for the national
syllabus, nor knowledge scrawled by Mrs Smith
on the board in shaky chalk, but the knowledge
I heard my father practise, out loud after tea.
Not a knowledge of capital cities, of England’s
football captains, the number of caps of David Beckham,
nor any pub quiz question, but a knowledge of maps,
of London’s maps in more than three dimensions.
Maps that covered the dining room, a cheap print
of The Hay Wain, of Bubbles and our photographs.
Maps he rose each day to enter, a clipboard
on his handlebars, to expand his hippocampus.
Manor House to Gibson Square; Archway
to Gloucester Gate; Penn Street to Portland Place;
Consort Road to MoD
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