Heading Home from Home

As I trudge along to the stop
Suitcase in tow,
The broken wheel scraping the
Icy concrete footpath,

Your almost-incredulous,
Crooked little smile sits
Right in the edge of my vision.
Blurred ever so slightly
Like the webs of ice
On the leaves above my head.

So early, cold and quiet.
Even the birds know better
Than to greet this half morning.
I wish I was in bed
With you
Under four layers of blankets.
Cocooned.
Toes touching….

I pull my hat down tight
And hand the driver my ticket.
11 more hours.

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A splash of urine on my slipper

More of a dash than a splash
Of hot, pungent urine.
Yellow from an apparent
Lack of hydration. A lack of
Fluids.

And on my slipper of all places!
My old brown vegan slippers.
Yes. Vegan.
Because somebody cared so much
And I, perhaps, too little.

And all of this because I find myself
Distracted by the thought of you.
By the thought of what you would say
If you were here.

Not ‘here’ here mind.
But perhaps in the next room,
Playfully deriding me for my
Inability to close doors,
Lounging on the sofa
Draped in my soft grey blanket.

Maybe,
Pushing your hair back
Over your ear
And looking up

As I enter

The room.

I should be changing the sheets

The pillow
Where I have lain my head to rest
Is steeped deeply with you.
Your delicate scent but also
The slow curve of your cheek,
The gentle rise of your breath
And the lashes of your
Half
closed
eyes.

When I close mine I can almost feel
The the groove and judder
Of your spine beneath my fingertips,
Your feet, warm,
in the small of my back,
And the moisture
On your open, waiting lips.

Soon?

While at home,
Yours not mine,
Missiles flare and blank out
Square foot after square foot
Of children, mothers and fathers
Supposedly likewise bent on destruction,

Here you flex and bend
Your head low
Almost to my breaking point.

I can easily overlook death
When you bare your teeth
And curl that tongue.
In this moment
What hold does sorrow have
On me.

But Sorrow,
Sorrow can wait
Leaning against the back wall
Of her Northern Celtic Cave
Eyes cast downwards
The corners of her mouth
Curl slowly into a smile.

‘Soon’

It’s not a war to be won, but…

And then quite unlike the
Way in which she left,
The muse returned.

I knew I was in trouble first
When I woke to the
Thought of her
In green and navy pajamas,
Hair a golden mess,
Carrying a tray of tea and toast slices.

The dress that I saw,
A shimmering grey
A pale mint
That was no longer
Behind the shop glass but
Twirling around flower beds
Above a pair of bare feet,
Was a bad sign to be sure.

And it is now that I find myself
Lying awake deep into the night, Biting into my pillow
And cursing myself,
That I know the real battle
Has only just begun.

Sepia Toned Loving

You lower your gaze
To your feet.
A hand emerges
From deep within a woollen sleeve
And pushes a few strands of
Yellowish-brown hair
Back over a yellowish-brown ear.
Your lips part minutely,
And yet so generously.

Standing under a flickering streetlight
We have been sent back.
Back to a time when
Colour was an idea
That you read about in books
When you should have been working hard
In the fields.
Toiling in flannel and corduroy.

But now I notice your brow is furrowed,
Eyes cast expectantly upward.
I have been staring but not listening.

I send a prayer out
Into the night sky above,
Silent and profound,
And lean down into you
To hear yours.