Slicing garlic, I notice how it brings into my mind now
one particular street, an unexceptional terrace, where
a young woman in the office was about to be moving
with her husband. The bathroom had been painted
with naked ladies by the current owners, two women.
This was the late nineteen-seventies. Slicing garlic
reminds me because an older woman, not unsophisticated
in an Elizabeth David way, explained to the younger one
the method of chopping it fine with the point of a knife –
not that I do it like that myself – and this would be a way
she could please her husband with food as adventurous
as their lesbian bathroom. I never saw those murals: but
slicing garlic or even onions brings her street to mind
along with other streets around that part of Birmingham,
and other people I knew living their own lives there:
how I knew them, food they cooked, their bathrooms.
Published in New Walk (2014)
Peter Daniels has won poetry competitions including the Arvon, Ledbury and TLS, and published a number of chapbooks. His collection Counting Eggs appeared in 2012 from Mulfran Press. His translations of VladislavKhodasevich (1886-1939) from Russian, published by Angel Classics (UK) and Overlook/Ardis (USA), were shortlisted for the Rossica, Oxford-Weidenfeld and Read Russia prizes.