Flooring a myth

Without apparent stimulus the brain suddenly decodes something from childhood.





The fence stands behind my mother, sometime in the 1930’s
Click on image to enlarge it



The fence still stood when I was a boy.
My fingers knew it was significant
a strange structure in its second life
a woven wire carpet stood on edge
threadbare and see-through yet
heavy rusted iron with exposed thin rods
that caught the dog’s leg when it leapt
to hang there long  before my birth
and forever in the family myths.
No story for the fence of former use
the only tales were of the dogs:
Four wolf hounds let out by a fool
all beheaded by the Lavenham train
the time passed down by word of mouth
with the  lurcher that ran itself to death
lent to rabbit on the harvest field
the bitch that let the policeman in the yard
then bit his trousers when he tried to leave
and the neglected dog that was shot.
The repeated stories leap to life
we even glance what we never saw
but remembered words blunt the sight
until tonight,
when with some surprise
I have just identified the fence,
my brain has put the last piece into place
for it was significant, but not upright
I walked its structure half my working life
a section from a malt- kiln wedge- wire floor.


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