The Picture in Front

This one day a woman
sick of arranging cutlery and laundry
thought to wave a napkin in the air
hail the sky and be whisked

Away
(if only to the neighbouring town)

Finding herself in an empty café
she was caught staring outside
an anchor, centre of the town
Unfamiliar

But what a fine shape! and noble!
Her eyes stuck

Out came a pen and a glass of water
the napkin, too

So the anchor was drawn with it,
the differently coloured bridges
and differently coloured houses.

Flicking her hair in youthful artistry
(she imagined)

The woman stayed put in the town
a day, a month, a year.

Everyone there
lit candles and put music on before dinner.

Dorset

Eating raspberries
Half an hour before
you talked of your sister’s achievements

“Not that you aren’t special too!”

And something cracked
as the heartless man in the car-park
shouted an insult
at your beautiful, shaky-fingered Gran

“No, n-no, that was my fault, it – “

The Dorset clouds gathered
snickered and rained fatigue
all down your cheeks

You’re getting older
drip drip
You’re just getting older
drip drip

And a trickle of failure maybe
through the buttons of your shirt

Holding the creased paper bag
a quiet kind of melancholy softness seeping through
Her and through

your younger body standing next to Her

Divisions


dividing orange-yellow days
finite as ever before
fixing glasses on a tuesday
to the tea I hold today, on a wednesday
 
staying immaculate with purple lips on a night
frustration over dinner just a wisp
in the wind of the moon upstairs
and perfume spilling as water, your breath
 
though
I spoke of nothing yesterday
each minute a metal rod
collected around our feet
far from made-up cobwebs in the shop
 
sitting downstairs in the library
a face in a stripe of light
and a woman in pink outside
carrying the skeleton of a forgotten animal
 
the frowning building next-door
a wish and a hope
encased soft in white bread
suffocating silent in plastic tears
 
but enough nonsense now
for this year is better
and the leaves we hold onto
as they fall of their own accord
 
glimmering shadows
past the paint of
your fresh cream door