POEM 1

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A FALLING

A poem for Birmingham

I like the way you loop your arm

around my waist, beckon me on

from Eastside to Brindley Place,

Offer me oysters, red-eye fish,

candy-floss, diamonds big as raindrops.

 

You offer me blue waterfalls, a spire

that pierces the air like a needle,

and everyday a vast moving stock

of new people – the boy hugging home

his double-bass, the woman who dreams

herself down the gallery steps.

 

At St. Martin’s, you conjure a version

of the trembling bubble a child might blow,

how it becomes a thousand silver suns

against the sky blue, a navigation

point from space.

 

In this falling I don’t recognise myself,

my eyes are losing their middle-age gauze,

primroses bloom through concrete walls,

canals rise, make noisy waves, and the mirror 

reflects back a radiant stranger.

 

I like this lover’s journey,

the offering up of each new secret

as surprising as the one before.

You take me dancing, point out

the clarinet notes escaping, like steam

 

through an open window. If ever 

there were streets paved with gold

they’re here in this quarter.

‘bend close’ you say and you will see

the specks of brilliance walked into pavements

 

left as routinely as the memory of snow.

Autumn comes on, gutters bubble 

with October rain. You offer me your coat 

red and warm. I pull it round myself, 

it becomes a skin, a cashmere drape, 

evidence of love and it’s heart-shaped.

Roz Goddard ©2020 

Thanks to Jean Atkin for the glorious Shropshire tree image.