This poem is taken from Stand 226, 18(2) June - August 2020.

Stuart Pickford Two Poems
Taking Down the Tree

You’re tall enough now to reach the angel on the top,
the angel with wings of lace from the market at Cavtat,
the last holiday, it turned out, we were all together,
playing cards each evening, faces lit by candlelight.

Twelfth day, it’s usually me but you’ve appeared
and cup your palms around each decoration:
your grandparents’ crescent moon dipped in stardust,
a fat cottage from the lid of a Scottish shortbread tin.

When I remind you how chocolate baubles used to disappear,
you smile. The TARDIS hung by a cotton thread is next.
Fresh from the Christmas Special we all watched, it spun
In its spiky universe saving the Earth from Cybermen.

Today you’re driving up to Newcastle in your finance car
for Basic Training. I cup in my palm an odd dog,
Rudolph the red-nosed mongrel you painted at Western
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