Poem in Which She Always Leaves

00000000a bacon sandwich on the kitchen table,

a message in ketchup beneath its upper rung of bread.

00000000In which I swallow whole the note and never know it’s there.

I spell I’m sorry with sodden clothes, with smiling too long and flower stems,

sorry on my mistakes, all of them, as they are happening.

00000000Poem in which my mother is maddened, not disappointed.

00000000Poem in which all my mothers are maddened: the old ladies

smoking at bus stops, scanning bacon and bread loaves at Tesco,

under flapping umbrellas in King’s Cross and High Barnet. Poem in which

I forget my umbrella, am not a failure and my mothers,

all of them, are pretty and called Margaret.

00000000In which the rain spells their name on me

and dry patches of escarpment.

Wayne Holloway-Smith

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