Of all of us, being first, you seemed
to get the treats – the bikes, the microscope,
the six-week hikes to Ireland.
You even got the chance to go to Germany,
albeit with the school.
It was the seventies;
some of the photographs I can recall:
the flares, big collars, snorkel jackets,
names which sounded so mechanical.
Berlin, Bremen and the Rhine,
the oddly tender Lorelei.
How strange it must have been
for you with only thirteen years
to be in Germany.
But I remember disappointment,
on an evening,
when you got back home, and from your pocket
Brought out nothing more
than the wrapper from a chocolate bar.
As foreign as it was it bore
the hallmarks of an afterthought,
(your smile said it all).
But I accepted it, my own small Germany,
and studied it – the foil,
dark printed words I tried to read –
Then smoothed it out, the map-like creases,
and held it to my face;
the distant smell of chocolate being broken into pieces.
Aiden was born and raised in Birmingham but currently lives in Rome where he works as an assistant university professor teaching composition and creative writing. His poems have appeared in various print and electronic magazines, including Magma, Stand, The North, Orbis and Prole.