The place we discussed of corn-flowers and dust

Three stages of loss

I. Afternoons after

I’ve been stealing stale air
from your coffin,
breathing it onto passers-by
to see them turn black,
dry up and crack.

But they just carry on,
plodding to the shops
bringing back their plastic bags
and sympathetic smiles.
I hope it rains today.


II. That place we discussed

In heavy rain
under dripping branches
I dispersed you,
watered you down
into long wet grass.

The stream washed you clean
and all I could hear
was the thud of droplets
on my rain coat hood.


III. Corn flower and dust

The car park is pay and display now
and I know I’ll say to someone
“it used to be free”
just to hear my voice
and watch my words dissipate
in pretend smoke plumes.

I chose the old bench,
it seems to fit the curve of my back
and I like the rough crackle of green paint
splintering into that front door blue.
It reminds me of your artists hands.

The foundations have spread beneath
the rivers bend, the fallen millstone
flashes silver ghosts of breached wellingtons
and spun dry socks, the bark and flap
of dog chased ducks.

I didn’t get the hot chocolate,
Nigel would have asked
and I need it to be summer,
its back packed sandwiches,
its childish chase around the toilet block
and the dressed in all the gear
walkers, saying “we come here every year”

Yes, Nigel would have asked,
so I’ll see you when it’s warmer.
I’m going to wait in the car,
give someone my ticket,
and they’ll say “thank you”
I’ll say “you’re welcome”
and they’ll know I miss you.


© savvi 2023
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This is an extremely beautiful and moving poem. The structure, the pace and the illuminations are just prefect.

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