Wild Court

An international poetry journal based in the English Department of King’s College London

‘Him’: a poem by Maeve McKenna

Image by chin1031 from Pixabay




Our wonderful man with metal hands,
his huge heart physical inside us.
Our tiny steps in his shoes. Our
cleaning his reading glasses,
filing his petrol nails,
perched on his shoulders combing
his silver hair. Our trips
to the beach in his resprayed
car, windows rolled down, his
tartan blanket, indicating only
when necessary. His lifting
us over seaweed, carrying
buckets of crabs, his towel
over our shoulders, rinsing
periwinkles, handing out bags
of chips. Our visits to his Saturday
brunch, ham sandwiches and
strong tea, his iced buns, his cups
tinkling on saucers.
His mixing grout, mounting tiles.
His plumbing, his window-locks,
his tool shed. His rusted tins of paint,
his scuff rags. Our neat, great
man. Our gentle, kind, strong man.
His long leaving, his boxed glasses,
his check short-sleeved shirt
on a hanger, hanky in his anorak,
his slippers, his hospital sheets,
his raised bed rail, his open mouth,
closed eyes, his cold feet.
His silence. His human hands
grey as putty. In ours.