Half crowns

On visiting days
my grandfather gave
me half a crown
for being good
‘spend some, save some’
was how he understood
the way to roll
the grieving on
from war to war
and in between
and in the pink
a house
-five hundred pounds
bought roses
not a tallyman
around the door.

So, what would he think
of why I stopped
from being good
to let the future roar
into a realm of frittering
and blight
-and this is how we’ve made
each other poor.

Yet here’s a day, today
to set the future right
in memory of the roses
and the giving
and this is how we’ll make
each other strong
now that my grandfather
and his half crowns
are gone.