Battle of the Bush

Elaine Hogan 2018

The Bush stood in the corner of the front parlour
on the tall hexagonal table, a slightly short leg
making it unstable, causing it to rock
unwillingly, as it became the weapon in the war
that grandfather waged against the swinging sixties
the recital of the lyrical football scores drowning
out the sounds of a Daydream Believer
as the tiny transistor batteries strived
to compete against the master’s voice
crackling and whining with valvular age
inside the austere wooden chest echoing
an elderly man’s distaste as he increased
the volume, victory vibrating each terraced room
loudly in the service of the world.
I devised a strategic plan, child against man.
Simon and Garfunkel would prevail in the silence
Should there be a failing in His Master’s Voice
which was fed by an expanse of wire that travelled
from the wooded interior of the illuminated Bush
down and up and around the peeling door frame
through the slightly sagging ceiling, beneath the bed
up the faded pink rose wall and beyond that.
A simple scissor snip and an incomplete repair
That wouldn’t show, who would know why the Bush
ceased to ignite it’s usual sparks
and grandfather’s glare couldn’t repair the silence
for days, and for me a young man sang quietly
of a kind of hush all over the world

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