Where do I address this to?

Are you safe?

Have you noticed as I have that a bed's edges close in

without two bodies to hold them back?

And no number of instant messages

make distance easy to live with.


The cat left.

It took the first few weeks of soft words & pheromone to settle him and

bang, just like that the first firework ruined everything.

Chasing safety into insecurity, he made himself

a cruel part of the winter nights.


I ride the bus now

to distraction & forgetfulness, on occasion

look up from my book and try to identify what matters most in life,

mark between scarred frost fields & slick slate roofs

some insight 30 years have yet to prove.


I used to sit up top

among the unchecked volume of youth: school uniforms

unbroken voices & the constant tug of war between conformity

& the individuals they're aching to become.

I try to remember how it felt being them –


bodies desperate

to grow, skin as yet unblemished by what they'll one day learn

to think important. I think of the classmates who

joined me in my growing and realise

these are their children.


The top deck

rattles off its routine as the sun

which has risen somewhere beyond fogged hills struggles

greens & browns back into this our home beyond the window, light

moving slow as a yawn down the valley


Really I'm torn

between the past's impressions & the future's promises