When Nothing Else Will Do

1 August 2012

The first haul was in a village north of the A17
I scooped up all six small jars
and thought they’d be good for another six months
or more but it seemed to rain every other day
and our landlord with her bouncing pony tail
opened all the windows to the Arctic and beyond
each time she came to show new tenants through
we unscrewed cap after cap and watched the rain
a drought was declared in the midland counties
we moved to a city criss-crossed with canals
a cathedral at the highest point
clouds hunched overhead
and it rained every other day
I found shelves of the rival Marmite in different sizes
and a Sainsbury low salt viscous variety
that you said was another kind of bitumen
and no, I don’t know why it tastes so good
or why it rained every other day
April was the wettest month on record in the UK
the drought was lifted last week in a few counties only
and you reverted to your childhood favourite
the biting sweetness of Dundee marmalade

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