POETRY
Winter 2022

simon maddrell

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wondering what was best

the anticipation or the sharing it took forty years  to realise

it  was  the  curry sauce.  Every  week  in the 70s we  drop

mother at hospital to nurse, back  home with two  bags  of

chips  & father's chicken curry from  Tam's. In  the 90s  he

rings  to tell me he has one on  his knee and it's Thursday

night  I say but he  knows that.  Tam mumbled, father said

you  can guess what he's saying or  make it up instead  in

2005  ...  you're back  ...  not for months  ...  every time  ...

mentions you  ...  he's  always  loved  your  chicken  curry

I say.  Teenagers queueing with old blokes  like the footie,

dole cheap fish chips  &  curry after a few beers he  made

more  sense  than  us.  Back  home  telling  stories,  father

pretends  he  can eat a curry.  Tam says he's sorry,  to say

hello. In 2011 clearing father's house, I order an extra hot,

it's  not on the  menu,  his son looks up  and smiles.  I  tell

him  I  miss  his  Dad  too.  I ask about his  mum  who  still

makes  the  best  curry  sauce  ever.  I  can't  stop  myself

wondering if she's given you the recipe.

SIMON MADDRELL was born in the Isle of Man and raised in Bolton. After twenty years in London, he moved to Brighton & Hove in 2020. He has been published in twelve anthologies and numerous publications including AMBIT, Butcher’s Dog, Stand, The New European, Morning Star, Brittle Star and Dawntreader. Simon was first runner-up in the Frogmore Poetry Prize 2020, shortlisted for Genesis Emerging Writers Programme 2021 and longlisted for the Poetry London Mentoring Scheme 2020. Simon’s debut chapbook, Throatbone, was published by UnCollected Press in July 2020. Queerfella jointly-won The Rialto Open Pamphlet Competition, 2020. In November 2021 Nine Pens Press published All About Our Mothers, an anthology with Vasiliki Albedo and Mary Mulholland.