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.