Yes, after three years on The Godfrey Project, came the evening. Beatrice looked at me around the behind of the goat she was milking and smiled, “Worzel, she said, we have written a book, volume one at least..and I think I have a fine photo for the cover.
It is just a tatty snapshot, four people standing in a rough, gravel lane way, beside an old grey car,that clearly has had it’s day. Boldly Godfrey grins, gap-toothed for the camera, firm grip on his older sister’s hand. No more than eight, he already dreams of wide horizons far away.
And what of Ma? Shabby cordaruoy coat on, ever present frown, her good purse in hand, frazzeled cigarette hanging low. Ma has spat on her hankey, to brush the shaggy hair from his face and wet it down. How many years did his Ma lie awake and worry? we will never know. She gave up her girl-hood visions of wide horizons long ago.
Sister Alice is laughing.. in jeans and flannel checked shirt, she keeps a knowing hold on Godfrey, their is mischief in her face. She is someone no one notices is pretty. Alice hides her light well, refuses to make friends, her wide horizons out of our sight,smoky clubs, dusty stage, a big distant city.
Bow-legged stands Grandma on the other side of Godfrey. Smiling proudly, holding up the tail of his Horse-Sweater. It is a photo he cherished, the last one of them taken all together. His Grandma is not really gone, she’s where sea and sky meet, out on the peaceful wide horizon.
Beatrice reflects a moment over her goat..with my new Brownie camera, it was I took the photo. They were headed off to Glasgow on summer holiday, twas the year his dad was thrown out and moved away. For the back page, do you have a picture of yourself then at Godfrey’s age?
Standing in a patch of pumpkins, holding high in grubby hand a fish..my first trout. I remember this day, grown ups whisper, look at her hair, those ragged clothes should be thrown out..no hint of smile on this six year old face, she sees what they do not, loves the torn sweatshirt she has on.
Giving them the peace sign, think your narrow views now, for the futures wide horizons are mine. Something Godfrey loved to do, was to make a point to end his evening laughing, and begin the next by asking, “What is good about today”
We shall put these words on the title page- “He was an odd young man who disliked Beets, his story belongs to the Whirled” For Poetry and song, and those who can be found,out on the wide Horizon..