Signs

My dad when driving
liked to read out
road signs, shop signs
or the shouty, foot-high
letters on advertising boards.
ASHBOCKING. THREE MILES.
GOLF SALE.
THE BEST A MAN CAN GET.
Recently Iโ€™ve started
doing this myself.
My children find it weird
and slightly annoying.
When I speak the words
I can hear my fatherโ€™s voice,
feel his facial expressions
fitted on mine
like a sort of mask.
His tone was always brisk,
jovial, according equal
stress and volume
to each individual word.
HORSES. GO SLOW.
He died five years ago
in a box room in Felixstowe,
not knowing his own name.
PIERPOINTโ€™S. FAMILY BUTCHER.
The dementia set in
after he turned eighty
but sometimes I think
he was slipping away
long before that.
Married, mostly secure,
his worldly ambitions
forgotten or achieved,
heโ€™d developed a sense
of life as random,
perfunctory, half-comical.
LONG MELFORD.
SOFAS TO SUIT ANY BUDGET.
Then again I might be
totally wrong about this.

 

 

Matt Pitt is a poet and screenwriter. He has previously published in Acumen, Ambit, Ink Sweat & Tears, London Magazine, Prole and Under the Radar. His second feature film, Man of Sorrows, is scheduled to start shooting in early 2021.