Scrapheap by Joseph Davison-Duddles

I was seven when we first went to the scrapheap –

my nails were long and there was dirt beneath them.

We drove – me in the passenger seat, feet dangling –

the bags of scrap in the boot:

a rusted bike frame, half of the fireplace.


We drove and, suddenly, the sky fell behind the scrapheap.

A shield of greys and browns

defended the blue like a father, like a shoulder before the child.

I was the child. And we stopped, then,

And the door handle was pulled –

I got out, peered over the cold railings,

sniffed the spider’s web of snot back into my nose and watched.


The heap was a lunar crater; I traced its edges with my watering eyes;

it was a stadium of expectant plastic bags

in their wide-angled masses, waving for the chosen team

of upside-down fridges like tossed teddy-bears.

It seemed to grow forwards.

It was just too much: the musty oil-smell, the mass of waste.

I grasped at the sleeve of my father’s shirt; we drove home.