How close we came to leaving each other

on the hard shoulder, walking in different

directions, following the line of fields 

for lonely miles then hitching a lift - 

me toward the sea, you with a spirit 

level back to the midlands.


It would have been dark by the time

you put your key in the lock, 

let yourself in to the cool hush;

prayer plants folded, landing light blown 

and the dog staring into the night

expecting me to sing his name.


I'd have steadied myself on the coast,

bought a sequined swimsuit, a two-slot 

toaster, ruined a few heels on the cobbles 

of the old town swaying home. There would 

have been other men, a goldfish or two,

gulls screaming overhead, but no cause 

for concern, none whatsoever.


First published on Ink, Sweat and Tears website February 2017