Footsteps behind her. Two miles home in the blackout. Pinhole of light,
hooded torch. Blind trams and windows. Her with a hatpin
at the ready. The walk downhill. From dark closes, a cloister
of shadows and breezes dissembling in stairwells. She knows he’s there
by the clip of his boots and the tarry smell of Senior Service. What
an eejit. Furtive into a close, torch off, and he tramps on by,
doesn’t know she has him in her sights. Footsteps behind him.
“Hey, stupid appearance.” He’s there like a sick calf, struck dumb.
And he only wanted to see her safe, so he did, in the long dark
of a two mile walk. Her with the wicked hatpin, pokes it back
into her beret.
……………………….Sixty years on and she’s lost without him,
in the long dark and the blackout and the walk downhill.
Lesley Quayle is a widely published, prize-winning poet; she is also a folk/blues singer. A former editor of Leeds based poetry magazine, Aireings, her latest pamphlet, Black Bicycle, was published in May of this year by 4Word press. http://www.4word.org/