Academic journal article Hecate

Belgrave Rd

Academic journal article Hecate

Belgrave Rd

Article excerpt

Stucco-fronted terraces

run the length of Belgrave Rd

hotels now a mirage of white plaster facades

dissolving in the glare of midday sunlight

you lived here Mum,

at number 95

below-ground watching the shoes of passers-by

ankle-wet running for buses in the rain.

Or was your view from an attic window

of the River Thames spreading

dark grey from one bank to another

rushing with an unexpected life-force

under Tower Bridge ...

sweet Thames, the city's keeper, sweating oil and tar

as barges drift with the turning tide

when we were kids

you read to us from

Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats

and we'd imagine our own cats

Sally and Sue

as Mungojerrie and Rumpelteazer

running amok through the house

but perhaps it was me and my sister

in your imaginings

knocking things over with our fighting

our fingernails pressing half-moons

into each other's skin

people unknown to us

inhabit the house we grew up in

now renovated and sub-divided

their children play

in the newly-landscaped front garden

holding earthworms'

wriggly bodies

extending and retracting

in their palms

[Author Affiliation]

Lou Smith is an independent researcher, poet and editor based in Melbourne. …

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