Every day, now he’s learning to speak Welsh,
he finds out something new about his childhood.
It’s not the need to talk so much as the necessity
of diving into himself and mining his memories.
Brynhyfryd / Mount Pleasant.
Pen-y-Bont / the End of the Bridge.
Ty Coch / the Red House.
This latter the house in which he was born,
way out of town, by Fairwood Common,
away from the strafing and bombing.
The war generation of his family all born
in the same in-the-country Gower bed.
No room in war-time hospitals
not even for the birth of war babies.
Three of his brothers did not survive
those rough, household births.
He still bears the forceps’ scars
from the moment the doctor
plucked him out, head first,
and hung him up by the heels,
shaking him, bringing him back to life.
He bears other scars as well
from the survivor’s burden of carrying
three dead brothers for seventy long years,
alive and kicking in the womb-warm
crevices of his still beating heart.