Who could have dreamed up such horror
As the brown-flowered wallpaper
That defiled my childhood bedroom
Seared itself onto my retinas to become unforgettable

Could I not be haunted by other images?
The copper beech perhaps
Ever morphing out by the cattle grid
Its splendour too intimidating to paint

Or the top layer of pale blue iron paint
That flaked toxic shards each time
We dragged the yard gate shut
Exiting sideways to deny the dogs liberty

But no. Only brown blossoms bloom
On the insides of my eyelids
And adhesive-shorn patches
Of temporary cover-ups; Blu-tak / Sellotape

Where the faux brass messiah
On his tacky plastic cross
Reigned over a garden of gaudy
And closed his eyes to the suffering