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About teatime, when the coals were glowing

liquid orange and cream, strands of soot

would catch on the fireback,

flickering like torches in a forest.

And behind the wireless’ fretwork facade

the valves were alight with Uncles and Aunties,

soothing, articulate, evocative and refined,

bringing us safely to the Weather and the News.

We listened to the same wonders, you and I,

tuned the static and the soot to pre-pubescent stories,

sensing there was something else

beyond the sideboard.

What if we could have been told –

by a clairvoyant Romany perhaps? –

that, out in the ether,

there was someone we would want to love forever.




© Copyright David Selzer
2 Responses
  • Alex Cox
    June 27, 2014

    I remember soot!

  • John Huddart
    July 2, 2014

    Those old bakelite radios opened more portals and possibilities than ever the first family TV did. Thanks for reminding us. And also for those creamy, orange flames.

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