top-hat
Top Hat & Tails
by Mark Andrew Heathcote

My mother & father fought day & night
But they made a hat with cardboard & glue
They measured my head & were erudite
This accomplishment, of their love, shone through.

To me who had more than just a few doubts
I slept right through it all and then came school…
The very next day Hat on, they recounts
My hat had won the show, yes, this was, cool.

“Oddest-thing-is” I don’t recall wearing it.
I don’t recall going to school at all…
All I remember is seeing the skip-
& joy in their proud hearts, still so, enthral.

As they recapped the story, late one night
Describing how they saved their silver foil.
A “40 a day habit,” I guess they’d to light,
Buy more packs, hadn’t they heard of Tinfoil.

© 2016 Mark Heathcote

IMAGE: The authors homemade top hat.

heathcoteNOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: 
Well, I was born in Withington, Manchester, one of three children; I was the eldest and the only boy. We lived in a three-bed terrace house with no bathroom or indoor toilet. I lived there until the age of nine and was a quiet and unhappy child, but that changed when the family moved to the countryside, where I then had the freedom to explore nature at first-hand. I spent much of my free time climbing trees and swimming in lakes and rivers, making rope swings, stuff like that. I was looked on as a kind of Tarzan figure, that’s how all other kids saw me. I was never academic and was years behind all the other children at school. I struggled badly in high school and didn’t learn a great deal. I left school at age 16, taking dead-end jobs on local farms and then in factories. I left home at age 17 —  by then, there had been a messy divorce and relationships weren’t good all round and haven’t improved all that much since. So I moved back to Manchester, where I’m still residing now and have done ever since. I’m a father of five and for the past 14 years I’ve be employed as a learning disability support worker. I write a lot of poetry in my free time and enjoy music and gardening.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mark Andrew Heathcote’s debut book, In Perpetuity, published in 2016, is available from CTU Publishing. His work recently appeared at THE BEZine and in the Silver Birch Press “When I Moved” Poetry & Prose Series.