He lived by the river. There were stepping stones
and a tabby cat that jumped across them
to greet me. We’d go fishing with jam jars
and pieces of string. We’d be out all day
till he called us in by banging a spoon on a tin.
Uncle Arnold made everything out of tins.
He seemed to choose them at random
from that stone shelf in his deep, inexhaustible pantry.
There had been an Aunt Isabel but that was before my time.
Maybe she had an opinion about the tins.
Of course it wasn’t like that. We never went there.
I only knew about Arnold from whisperings
before my dad took the train to Durham on Saturdays
and afterwards never told us where he’d been.
Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries for The Poetry Society. Two collections with Smith/Doorstop, the most recent being The Stonegate Devil which won the 2016 York Culture Award. A collection for children will be published in June 2017 www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk