Time and again – Livvy Hanks

Time and again

One day – how can I know which? –
I lose my diary. Brain lurches
into the chasm of the year:
who is expecting me, and where?
Who is even now drumming their fingers on Formica,
alone with their agenda
and their forbearing frown?

There is terror, then liberation.
Everything is unexpected: friends drop by,
then don’t. I make appointments,
note them on a nearby banana,
which I eat. The whole world
is continually in rooms and restaurants without me.

Encouraged, I throw my alarm out of the window,
put my watch in the bath. My phone
is a landline, it is 1997 –
I presume. It cannot remind me of anything
and almost everything is yet to happen.

The days are short and frosty,
then fresh, then long. At last I panic.
It is nearing the time when I will meet you,
but nothing can tell me when.
The town hall clock, beneath which we will meet,
is broken. I walk there every day as the sun goes down
and look around me,
wondering if I will recognise your face.

Livvy Hanks has an MA in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia, and worked as an editor before moving into policy and campaigning work. Her poetry was most recently published in Lighthouse. She lives in Norwich. Twitter: @livvyhanks