The h2g2 Poem

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Returning Late

Kinairn Street - each stain in the granite,

each crack in the pavement, known and noted

brings warmth in the winter afternoon;

expectation builds with each recognition.

Two blocks, through the close, and up the stairs

love waits; a long anticipated welcome

hidden in a scold for not calling to be met.

An unknown entranceway cuts through the old paving stones

to a courtyard between new flats; sharp edged

and disconcerting in the haar rolling damp from the North Sea.

Quicker footsteps echo back from the walls. In a flurry of gull-scavenged litter

four figures emerge from the mist; three young women, midriffs bare,

and an old lady in an old lady's mac, talking.

Mother. She hasn't seen.

She hasn't seen. Pass by, smiling inside;

wait for the double-take, eyes lit.

Nothing. Turn and follow,

touch her sleeve; 'Hey!'

She turns, still talking. Talking;

'... shouldn't be out in this, dressed like that. What is it dear? Catch a chill...'

and turns to go, still talking.

Catch her sleeve. 'Hey?'

'...not right, out in this, dressed like that. Yes dear? I must go...'

Take her arm, make her stop.

She crumples. 'His face, it's awful.'

'What?' 'It's awful.'

'Why?' She won't look.

Hold her. Make her look.

'Why?'smiley - space 'So white, so thin, he won't talk... shouldn't be out in this. Catch their death...'

Catch her eye,

she's not there.

Going, he's taking her too;

just leaving the wrapper.

smiley - rosesmiley - rosesmiley - rose

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