Friday, 19 January 2007

Coming Home

She sat facing backwards on the train to Crewe,
watching herself shrinking in the distance
while familiar landscapes flickered past the window,
though not in black and white.
They had been, once -
with hairline cracks that burst upon a screen,
and Mother, tightly-permed and nyloned,
clicked her heels through unconnected scenes,
pulling the silent, dreamy child beyond...

Her face reflecting in the tainted glass,
she stared at fields that billowed into view,
the bales of hay like wayward scones - and paths
that led to Sunday afternoons, and you.

Those twisted paths.

She can’t forget, she tried -
examined frame by frame her flimsy life;
rewound her soul until it snapped and died -
and still she never found the child who laughed…

And now she’s coming home for Mother’s sake:
dragging her luggage along Platform Two,
she bends to brush against your Old Spiced cheek…
and shudders.

Or maybe it was you.

Thursday, 18 January 2007

When Daddy comes home

There is a moment in our day – which hitherto
had teemed with dimpled laughter;
tumbled, nudged and winked its way
across the sunlit birdsong-speckled hours –
there is a moment when the quivering springness
starts to slow; an instant when the light falls wingless
to the cold earth, a sudden folding of the flowers,
a hush of footfall poised upon the roaring brink
where with buckled breath we wait...
we wait for you.

Thursday, 4 January 2007


Would you compare me to a Summer’s day?
Not really, I suppose, if truth were told,
Not first thing in the morning anyway-
More like the end of Autumn: rumpled, old…
Perfection taunts me from a magazine
Where Truth is Beauty, Beauty wrinkle-free;
I wonder if you wish that I had been
A girl to make heads turn, instead of Me?
You snuggle closer, kiss me on the neck -
“I love you…” and of course, I know you do,
Despite the fact that I’m an ageing wreck.
“But what,” I say, “Would you compare me to?”

“Shall I compare you to this Summer’s day?”
You draw the curtains and the sky is…grey.