Phil has been round. I know this because we came home the other night to find a pack of Toffee Crisps on the doormat. I texted him to say thank you and he denied all knowledge of it. This is what he does. It means (I am inferring here, he does not leave a card) I am thinking of you. Or: Hope your week goes well. Or: What a week that was! Words can take you a long way, but Toffee Crisps can do the job just as nicely. The tradition goes back to when I had cancer thirteen years ago. Mysterious parcels of brownies would appear on our doorstep, with old-fashioned luggage labels announcing it came ‘from the Brownie Fairies.’ We texted Sam his wife to say thank you with our one mobile phone and she denied all knowledge as well. When I get my act together and remember it is my turn to reciprocate I sometimes take a stroll down the hill and shove some Double Deckers through their door. This doesn’t improve the scoreline. As with the fortunes of our respective teams, it is going along for Liverpool 14, Chelsea 3. I don’t think this bothers him. Once I caught him the act. He denied all knowledge of it then as well. He was out for a walk, he said, even though he knew I could see his car at the top of the road. The recent packet was a bit on the melted side. I imagine he left it on his dashboard and forgot about it. This has made opening and serving the Toffee Crisps harder than usual. I have gone for an approach which involves slicing the bar through the wrapper into 1 cm chunks on a chopping board with my sharpest kitchen knife. This makes the Toffee Crisp look like the exotic hungry caterpillar of legend, its brown innards trying to ooze out of its orange and yellow wrapping. There is no chrysalis, just melted chocolate and rice crispie bits. Tatty snuck one out of the fridge the other day and ate it straight from the packet, like you would after school on a Friday. There were bits all over the stair carpet. I was torn between telling her off and enjoying popping them into my mouth as I followed after her.
Published by Anthony Wilson
I am a lecturer, poet and writing tutor. I work in teacher and medical education at the University of Exeter. My anthology Lifesaving Poems was published by Bloodaxe Books in 2015. In 2012 I published Riddance (Worple Press), a collection of poems, and Love for Now (Impress Books), a memoir, about my experience of cancer. My most recent books are Deck Shoes (Impress Books, 2019), a book of prose memoir and criticism, and The Afterlife (Worple Press, 2019). In 2023 I will publish The Wind and the Rain, my sixth collection of poems, with Blue Diode Press. My current research project, with Sue Dymoke from Nottingham Trent University and funded by the Foyle Foundation, is Young Poets' Stories: https://youngpoetsstories.com/. This blog is archived by the British Library. View all posts by Anthony Wilson