It smelled of caked talc and bicycle tyres,
small rivers bled into the seams.
When I entered the room I set my feet
in old steps – I never met the fireplace.
Most dragons belch fire; old Sarah screamed
nicotine from her nose, breathed-in dust
from screwed-up paper bags. She sparkled
her eyes with a stained handkerchief.
Fat, pink-boned rubber, laid an oblong
on her bed, but she was round! She boomed
around the house in huge paisley wraparounds,
wisps of silver hair trailed behind her.
I wanted to see how the magic worked
thought about slipping beneath the great bed
to spy on mounds of Granny, girdled into place.
I’d listen for the pad of her tartan feet.
‘Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the flesh of a young un!’
Her voice was sharp as old snow, fat arms, smooth
in nylon, protruded from her ears. I’d lift dirty dishes
from the bedside and brush past pink flannel, to safety.