By Rosie Garland
My Favourite Uncle
Had tropical fish with sequinned jackets, suspended
above candied gravel; a mermaid with plastic breasts
who gargled bubbles. He had Auntie Brenda with her coiled
beehive and a mouth pursed for cigarettes. There was a magic
button in his Ford Cortina: when I pressed it, the light
in the vinyl roof came on. I was allowed to touch
his record player with its sapphire needle, the box of glossy
top ten 45s. He took me to burger bars with red twirling stools,
so tall my feet dangled. Taught me to blow bubbles
in my milkshake. Laughed when I spilled tomato ketchup.
He bought the perfect present: a tiny suitcase for my doll,
big enough for running away. I couldn’t understand why
Brenda left him: left the fish, the car with its magic
switch, the songs, the gifts, the endless giggling.
© Rosie Garland
Rosie has an eclectic writing and performance history, ranging from singing in 80s Goth band The March Violets, to her current incarnation as Rosie Lugosi the Vampire Queen. She has four solo collections of poetry: Hell and Eden (Dagger Press, 1997), Coming Out At Night (purpleprosepress, 2000), Creatures of the Night (purpleprosepress, 2003) and the latest, Things I Did While I was Dead (2010), which is available from Flapjack Press. Her award-winning short stories, poems and essays have been widely anthologised. Mapping the Interior, her first novel, is currently with an agent. More information is available Rosie’s website.