WINTER JACK- From Godfrey , Found By Worzel

Oh it is of course, a tatty old thing, but I know, said Beatrice, he would have wanted you to have it.

.Hanging amid rain-gear behind her mud-room door. Godfrey’s beloved, fifteen year old , merino wooely jacket, wadded in the pocket his knitted dragon hat. His old Ma had knitted him that. She said I know he oft hid random poems in a tear he called his Secret Hole. I checked it over for debris, but have not washed the fleece, if he has left poetry in there.

The cuffs were worn away years ago, one sleeve oddly dabbed with yellow paint. It was scorched by use as an oven mitt, I inhaled the honey, smokey scent of it. Scent of earth and cherry syrup for his cough, rips cleverly mended using waxed dental floss. Something deep within crinkled, a poem on paper ratty as a scroll, hidden in Godfrey’s secret hole. I did not wash his old jacket, for fear that it would fall to bits. I use it as a pillow, in the corner by the window, where my old turquoise chair sits…

WINTER JACK- Bye Godfrey- Not welcome in the cafe where I worked was Winter Jack. In the weeks of snow and cold I left pails of soup and buns for him, hid round the back. Good food I had been told to throw away. He worked the rubbish bins all night, year round. I rarely saw Winter Jack in light of day. Most people looked the other way from Winter Jack.

Small, shaggy, grubby, old man, neither saint nor fiend, worked his bin route with solitary pride. He kept a camp year round in the forest, up the lake. Nothing and no one could keep Winter Jack inside. One morning in bitter cold I met up with Winter Jack, poor and strange to the likes of us, as I waited for my ride to come, Jack doubled back to make sure I had the fare, in case I had to take the city bus. ..A stone mason by trade. I never learned how or when his life had gone off the track,only that his name was Mario, I knew him briefly only as Winter Jack…


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