NaPoMo Classic Poetry Day 30 – The Icing Hand by Tony Harrison

Tony Harrison 1937-

The Icing Hand

That they lasted only till the next high tide
bothered me, not him whose labour was to make
sugar lattices demolished when the bride,
with help from her groom’s hand, first cut the cake.

His icing hand, gritty with sandgrains, guides
my pen when I try shaping memories of him
and his eyes scan with mine those rising tides
neither father nor his son could hope to swim.

His eyes stayed dry while I, the kid, would weep
to watch the castle that had taken us all day
to build and deck decay, one wave-surge sweep
our winkle-stuccoed edifice away.

Remembrance like ice cake crumbs in the throat,
remembrance like windblown Blackpool brine
overfills the poem’s shallow moat
and first, ebbing, salts, then, flowing floods this line.