Simon Jenner

Descended from a Line of Legs

Clank; his leg shows its metal

down the pungent antiseptic corridor

whose double once wheeled his flesh one to the fire.

Now he spawns comedy; these are Volvos,

Volkswagens swimming down the aluminium,

garaged by his infant son daily and forgotten.

Veering to some vacant ward, he dismantles

his white consultant self to the buff

paint and straps, to slow scars quickly examined

stumped behind surgical socks, to a child’s Dinky rattle –

of himself years back, embryo memory of his whole.

But it’s his son who’s almost complete, bar squint eyes,

scar tissue he sees to himself; eyes blind

to their blue-chipped reliquaries he’ll now return.

Smiling to anecdote it, he winces rising.

His son will keep missing and forgetting

till he’s only metal and memory. The father

would not see him seed in his hangar leg

what burns his son to fly, late, to the same doctored titles,

limping preferments, not the predicted lyric scrapheap.

But the son’s legs are blocked out, own no magic cavern

to welcome his own infants. Flesh stops with him

who limps like his father with a pint less excuse

who fires steel and sterile children as a fertile offering.

Simon Jenner © 2009