The things that didn’t go in the van – Michele Witthaus

The things that didn’t go in the van

Yesterday, you moved out.
Today, I traced
tributaries of tea,
pale sepia descending the wall
towards the skirting board;
scrubbed in vain at faint blood vessels of nail polish
etched around the light switch;
stared at a fist-shaped dent in the wardrobe door;
sought the price of a replacement
and chose a set of mirrored decals instead;
pulled a miniature of rum
out from behind the desk;
meant to throw it away
but warmed it in my palm a while.
Tonight, I will dream
of that other you,
the daughter I didn’t see until she’d gone.
Tomorrow, I will set aside
these signs of your occupation
and think about redecorating your room.

Michele’s pamphlet, ‘From a Sheltered Place’, was published in August 2020 by Wild Pressed Books. She has poems in several anthologies and other publications and is the 2020 winner of Leicester Writers’ Club’s Ena Young Award and Chris D’Lacy Endeavour Award.

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