Trailer

Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice

Trailer is a series of meditative poems about the poet’s family history, and the way the past travels with us. The poems – like paintings by Chagall – stir up time and place to dissolving point, honouring the material world but not taking it for what it is. Or isn’t. Trailer is a memorial to the poet’s grandparents and great grandparents.

Anna Woodford makes it lively and new, and in the way of the best of poems, she starts with the specific and takes off.

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Book cover for Trailer by Anna Woodford Paperback: 24 pages Publisher: Five Leaves Publications Publication date: 16 November 2007 ISBN: 9781905512317

Trailer

Dad has always driven slowly as though he has always been dragging this trailer, full of loose ends from his childhood that he can’t let go. The trailer follows the car at a jaunty angle, when Mum isn’t looking over her shoulder, the trailer turns into Gran, hanging on to the bumper, her head down, her wings raised like a Rolls Royce angel’s, when Mum looks back she will see just the trailer and the last of the boxes. Dad sticks to the back lanes of his childhood, crawling along as though he is crawling through treacle. He is speeding in a bicycle lane when the police catch up. They don’t see Gran or Dad or Mum, just an old couple with a trailer and hurry them on with the trailer rattling behind like bones or cans tied to a wedding car. Dad will stop dead eventually, when Mum follows, all the trailer’s loose ends will spill over into my living room where Gran’s clock is already losing time on the mantelpiece.