That year we gave up on summer. The
wettest drought in history some said but
no one here was listening. The grass will need a cut,
you said, as the first leaves began
to fall and the birds began to gather
on the wires to prepare for their journeys.
The taxi arrived early and you worried
that it would cost a small fortune if
we didn’t make a move. I carried you
out past the overgrown grass covered
in leaves that were turning to muck in
the rain. Blackberries still clung to the
naked brambles where a piece of sheep’s
wool had caught on the thorns. The
birds had gone and in the quiet of the day
our breathing became deafening.
The stop/start of footsteps, of the engine,
of the windscreen wipers that cleared the glass.
You never looked back. And I don’t know what
you were thinking as I asked to stop
outside the school gates so that I could breathe.
The water in the leaves soaked
through my soles and I wondered how
we had ever got to this point.
Nothing is ever made good. You said
bright clothes, big smiles and the best party in
town. You wanted that song by Harold Melvin
and the Blue Notes for a laugh.
You only ever cried at the good things.
Sorry, I spoke but was unable to finish.
David Coldwell is an artist and writer based in the village of Marsden in West Yorkshire. His poems have featured in a number of print and on-line journals.
More of Davids work can be found in Volume 9