Paul Deaton

Black Knight

A few forgotten objects Dad passed on: copperplate pens with long nail nibs, still stained black, one coal-fire red, laid to rest for twenty years in the shed’s office chest;

a Monopoly set yanked by a seaman uncle from his sinking merchant ship U-boat torpedoed at the beginning of the second world war, but minus the board;

the pine green balsa houses, the pink prim hotels strewn on the field of our living-room floor, much else that was yours: the board, this uncle and your gambling father, we never saw.

And the chess pieces we played and played; of our two wooden box sets, the best hand carved, you varnished and weighted with lead.

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