Christian Ward

Christian Ward is a UK based poet who can be currently found in Wild GreensCold Moon ReviewDiscretionary LoveSpillwords and Chantarelle’s Notebook. Future poems will be appearing in SpryDreich and Uppagus

Portrait of my father as a young man

Formalwear doesn't suit you -
the white Malteser of your head
standing out like Tippex against
a pinstripe or navy blazer.

In photos, that skull hard to ignore,
your Nosferatu features a give
away. No wonder you were chased
often: under the local by-pass,

down canals and through city centres
by boys unable to make sense
of your unusual genetics. Later
you hid under a scarf, tucking away

every inch of your face like a bird
permanently preening its feathers,
afraid of the constant presence of dirt.
Once, I saw you take it off at night, 

outshining the garden flowers all at once
and making the visiting foxes curl at your feet.

Brighton at Dusk

Unpeopled arcades
and the empty pier
hum their gospels
at dusk, when the last
of the clubbers
have gone home
and the sea is steady.
They sing of loneliness,
of vinyl hours, of oil,
hair slicked
into Brylcreem waves.
Only the rattling
of runaway supermarket
trolleys makes the minutes
go quicker, the scampering
of wheels like the squeals
of children running.

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