Grandad Fox

Gerald Fox

A Teddy-boy in your time

Ginger afro and brothel creepers

Sharp suits and nylon shirts

This one I iron

With daffodils and geometric shapes

That you bought in America in ’72

Today you are

Out building a bonfire

To celebrate your wedding anniversary

Now as you did back then

Old jumper, sleeves rolled up,

And jeans with paint smears aplenty

Always working. Always working

I don’t see you sat, an old man in slippers

Reading a newspaper

The Royle Family’s your lot

And a super-hot curry

I come out to ask if you want a beer

And, smiling as at a little boy

I tug and untwist twigs and leaves

Out of your savages hair

Your name was once Arthur, I found out

By accident filing a bill

Too uncool for a Teddy-boy

So you use your middle name

And it suits you much more

I bring out a beer and hand it to you

You put your hand to my face

Trying to shock me with the cold

But it’s warm from the trees and the bark you’ve been lifting

Old trees from down by the beck at the bottom of your garden

There long before you were a teddy-boy

They took root when Sir Titus Salt was the man

Who named working class streets

With the names of his children

But you who named your cats

Cagney and Lacey

Don’t have much time for that now

A worker all your life

A joker full of stories

A talker, a racer, a spender, a haircut, what a dancer, a father, a grandad, greatgrandad,

Just a kid who likes sweets

Jelly ones, not humbugs.


©  Jennifer Winterburn


2 thoughts on “Grandad Fox

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