The mahogany table-top you smashed
Had been the broad plank top
Of my mother's heirloom sideboard-
Mapped with the scars of my whole life.
That came under the hammer.
That high stool you swung that day
Demented by my being
Twenty minutes late for baby-minding.
'Marvellous!' I shouted, 'Go on,
Smash it into kindling.
That's the stuff you're keeping out of your poems!'
And later, considered and calmer,
'Get that shoulder under your stanzas
And we'll be away.
' Deep in the cave of your ear
The goblin snapped his fingers.
So what had I given him?
The bloody end of the skein
That unravelled your marriage,
Left your children echoing
Like tunnels in a labyrinth.
Left your mother a dead-end,
Brought you to the horned, bellowing
Grave of your risen father
And your own corpse in it.