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  • every summer we would drive
    to scarborough
    in an estate car crowded
    with
    beach towels
    beach balls
    deckchairs
    windbreaks
    cagoules
    lilos
    a large red thermos and
    me

    and one year
    i remember
    stopping
    for a red light

    and sat
    on the pavement
    within sight of the sea
    was this
    half naked santa
    tramp

    2 litres of cider
    at one hip
    a sleeping
    dog
    at the other

    glinting
    crucifix
    slung across his
    leathery chest
    like an outlaw’s gun

    our eyes locked
    and
    as if he had been
    expecting,
    waiting for
    me
    his face
    exploded
    into a gap toothed
    grin his hand raised in a gesture
    of recognition, acknowledgement

    i looked at my mum
    at the dark sickles
    under her eyes
    the creases
    around her mouth

    then looked back at him
    and waved
    as the car pulled
    slowly away
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