by | January 6, 2021

My grandparents came

from a movie-going age –

he would call from the office

and my grandmother would dress

all her children in evening clothes,

and wait.


At the cinema, the world dissolved

into light and sound,

the salt of popcorn

on your fingertips, and pink soda

that fizzed up your nose,

the colour they made sunglasses in

in the eighties.


Maybe they picked

matching straws

for their drinks,

and that was how it was

back then.


My grandfather used to sing

late into the evening

with his technicolour drink

in one hand, the red heads

of Ship matchsticks

lighting the tip of his cigarette.


My grandmother always

sat by his side, listening.

I secretly picture them dancing,

and my mother and uncle laughing

as children do. Sometimes

there is only a memory –

my mother sings a song

as she drinks her cola

on the balcony. ■


Words by Nikita Biswal. Art by Joe Dobbyn.