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written by: Marc Brightside



Underneath the bed frame rests a shoebox
full of throwaway tat, crap prescribed
a value based on who delivered it, if it’s
sustainable or fossil fuel, if the crap-giver
is absent or deceased, if I care either way.
I use a shoebox because shoes are meant
for travelling and in my head this sounded
like a good reason until I wrote it down.

That one love letter lives in there, diluted by
Thesaurus Syndrome and some awkward turns
of phrase, but A for effort, let’s be generous
for days gone by. When we tanked, when I was
no longer the most amazing man in the world,
it went in the shoebox, underneath the ornaments,
newspaper clippings and a dozen foreign coins.
My second letter landed on its feet, beautiful
and raw, and straight into the box, provisions
for the day my name (or hers) can be replaced.
I keep them all together. In time, they might
eventually fuse and form a statue or memorial.

A piece of my maternal granddad lines the floor.
He used to call me Wee Man, late into my teens,
and by the time he died he wanted nothing more
than to be scattered by the wife he couldn’t love.
His name was Frank. Towards the end, his hands
had vertigo, so the leftovers look more like Fronk.



This poem is taken from my debut collection, 'Keep it in the Family'.

Marc Brightside

Marc Brightside

I am an author of poetry and realist fiction for adults, currently based in London, England. I first discovered poetry under the tuition of Julian Stannard and since graduating I have conducted poetry workshops, worked as an editor for poetry and non-fiction, had my work published in various outlets across the UK and placed top ten in 2016's National Poetry Competition, held by The Poetry Society. My debut poetry collection, ‘Keep it in the Family’, will be available via Dempsey & Windle from October 2017 onwards.
Marc Brightside

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