“KEY” by Dom Moraes

Ground in the Victorian lock, stiff,
With difficulty screwed open,
To admit me to the seven mossed stairs
And the badly kept garden.

Who runs to me in memory
Through flowers destroyed by no love

But the child with brown hair and eyes,
Smudged all over with toffee?

I lick his cheeks. I bounce him in air.
Two bounces, he disappears.

Fifteen years later, he redescends,
Not as a postponed child, but a letter
Asking me for his father who now possesses
No garden, no home, not even any key.

A memory of a child with brown hair and eyes and toffee spread all over . Re-lived briefly as the key to the Victorian lock is turned and the poet gains admittance to the seven mossed stairs and the badly kept garden. Fifteen years later ,the child re-appears ,not as a grown up kid or as a child frozen in time but merely as a letter asking for his father ,who now possesses no  garden , no home,not even a key.

The lyricism of Dom Moraes’ poems is captivating. The images are intriguing : "postponed child","the key","two bounces,he disappears". The key is the metaphor,the key to the memories of the past, the key to childhood.

I have just noticed the use of visual-dynamic images effectively to convey the back-and -forth movements of the poet’s mind in time. The child is bounced "up" in the air :later he re-"descends". "The child "runs" to me in memory";
"two bounces/he disappears".

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