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My Beautiful Son Cooks Me an Octopus

Julian Stannard

by hiring a boat in the fishing village of Camogli and heading off

for the waters of Zoagli. He has his hand firmly on the tiller

and he’s telling me that one day he’s going to be a champion boxer.


He’s taking me to Zoagli because he wants me to see the fish.

I don’t tell him that when he was born the fish leapt clean out of the sea

nor do I tell him that when his mother was going crazy


the fish of Zoagli flew straight into my head and flapped.

I don’t say, Son if you could open my head and let the fish go free

I might take the day off and pretend that life was sweet.



Poetry London No 59 (Spring 2008)