Tony Harrison

(1937 - / Leeds / England)

Turns - Poem by Tony Harrison

I thought it made me look more 'working class'
(as if a bit of chequered cloth could bridge that gap!)
I did a turn in it before the glass.
My mother said: It suits you, your dad's cap.
(She preferred me to wear suits and part my hair:
You're every bit as good as that lot are!)

All the pension queue came out to stare.
Dad was sprawled beside the postbox (still VR) ,
his cap turned inside up beside his head,
smudged H A H in purple Indian ink
and Brylcreem slicks displayed so folks migh think
he wanted charity for dropping dead.

He never begged. For nowt! Death's reticence
crowns his life, and me, I'm opening my trap
to busk the class that broke him for the pence
that splash like brackish tears into our cap.

Comments about Turns by Tony Harrison

  • Susan Williams (2/23/2016 4:14:00 PM)

    A boy always wants to fit in his father's shoes (Report) Reply

    12 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • (2/23/2016 10:39:00 AM)

    As with all Harrison......a Larkinesque rebuke, redolent of metro taunt.....'It's Hard Up North' with it! ! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Saturday, October 15, 2005

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