Stereograms of the Dead
By Alistair Robinson


Wrestling With Kent Walton

If she were still a full ninety minutes,
my grandma would mourn the passing
of Billy Bremner and Emlyn Hughes.
She was a fan of the professional foul,
and the sort of sliding tackle that slid all the way
to the hoardings. She liked it best when the camera
got in tight and showed a twisted hairy leg.
It was then that Georgette Heyer would
lose her tussle with Georgie Graham.

My grandad, like most men once they've secured a wife,
wanted her to be someone else. He bought her
posh women's clothes and second-hand jewels
and when they went out he preferred it when she said
nothing. So she'd sit there and stare from the bus
window and be well behaved until
she saw someone slip on the pavement, or
lose their hat in the wind, and she'd
become the laughing policewoman and he'd blush.

When He stayed out alone on Saturday afternoons,
she'd rush back for wrestling with Kent Walton.
She loved a tight headlock and a mangled
encounter against the ropes, particularly if there'd have to be
a close-up of the forerunner of lycra with someone
big and sweaty in it. Then she'd imagine she too was
ringside, with all her uncouth unhusbanded sisters,
rooting for Giant Haystacks and spitting
obscenities and fragments of mints.

How she would have loved to have been a 3 a.m. girl,
to have come back tipsy with her high heels in her hand,
to have shopped at Ann Summers and sung karaoke,
and holidayed in Ayia Napa with her mates. She was made to
curse and flirt, not curtsey and kowtow.
She should have had her own credit card,
and a nippy little motor, and an account at the stand and tan.
All this and more ...or maybe
not: she wouldn't have wanted to upset the old man.



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