Another alien sky. Wrapped in mist,
the pale sun turns to ghostly moon.
Five months, four weeks, two days and still
everything is strange: sleep rains
nightmares; his face and 100-watt shadows
orbit the long waking hours.
My non-stop mind churns white noise.
The radio headline that crackles through
is a fire at Chester Zoo…animals missing.
Missing, miss him. Words spin
like his anti-crease shirts playing
at white clouds in our tumble drier.
Meanwhile, me, driving, and more driving –
a thick-windowed metal beast charging
the road’s jolting hum and jumbled horizons.
Avoiding home. My thoughts flock
like sheep rushing an upturned trough.
His silhouette dominates every skyline.
“Let me write it down in case.” Last words
are stones skimmed across an endless lake,
the tarmac’s unrelenting grey, the deep
emptiness inside me, my heavy bones,
these restless limbs. When the phrase sinks,
and memories rise, I feel its full meaning.
In the corner of the sky’s eye, a quiver
of birds in flight. Rain pelts my glass face.
Sarah James/Leavesley is a prize-winning poet, fiction writer, journalist and photographer. Her recent titles How to Grow Matches (Against The Grain Poetry Press) and plenty-fish (Nine Arches Press) were both shortlisted in the International Rubery Book Awards. Her website is at http://sarah-james.co.uk.