Little Town poetry: Uppingham Methodist Church
Uppingham Methodist Church.
Four foot next to the font
wearing a tall chef’s hat
puffy on top
I played ‘The Baker’ in our Nativity
envying angels –
their wings, their glitter
I was no square Methodist
but proud of the apron Mum lent
and recalling how I kicked
the Minister who wet my head
the stranger who held me.
God was in the house
- every Sunday
Mrs Pallet’s Ballet School
Mrs Toat’s Playschool
- every weekday morning
til’ they upped the rent. Buckets
of second-hand toys, that
unhinged Wendy House
I pushed over
with shouty boys inside.
Jesus belonged to Sunday School – a trainee God
in the Church Hall, away from Wesley’s pulpit
such a sweet Youth Leader – one of the older kids
his lovely locks felt-tipped, life-size
on a poster I helped make (pride)
hung above Kitchen steps, protecting
our descent to green utility cups and biscuits.
It was the cool thing to do at 11.
Skip out the kitchen-door
down a cobbled hill on
to the main road – the A47.
I’ve forgotten the date
but always felt bad about
that – not knowing.
I can guess the feeling, how it smelt.
Rotting paint on the back-gate in Springtime
Mrs Bentley, thumbs plinking broken keys
for pleasure, to an empty floor
scuffs from Brogues and Resin, crumbs
light falling in wide Georgian beams
outside-in, beyond blue double-doors
to heaven’s ship, I made my exit
the coward’s way, never to return
leaving three small words, framed
on a wall with other lambs