I still love Jimmy-the-Croak.
Though he’s a frog—a brass one,
hinged at his poop-point.
So that the top half of him swings back
in a body-shaped yawn and when closed,
leaves him dished and lidded.
When I was small he held two sweets,
or a couple of coins, a secret note,
folded small and square, or a bright
glass bead and a music-box key.
He could also snap down hard
on my brother’s poking finger.
Now he sits on a shelf.
One of the few things left of my Mothers,
kept since that terrible house clearance.
Sometimes, I still polish him.
Shine him up like gold, with Brasso
— the way Ma taught me.
Like she did when brightening brasses
was my Sunday-morning
The sharp tang of cleaner rises,
pulls me through time and I hear her,
saying ‘give it some elbow grease’.
Copyright © Miki Byrne 2016
I have had three collections published to date plus many independent poems.