Even when she’s here,
she’s somewhere else;
yoga on a Goan beach,
sweat-wet Ibiza nights,
more ash falls from her cigarette
as she pours another drink.
I’m not in her head;
me, I’m in my own,
self-stored in my room,
gazing from my window.
Soon, I’ll go downstairs,
make my lunchbox, pack
my school-bag for tomorrow,
put out the smouldering stub,
pull the duvet over her on the sofa
and come back up to bed.
I have the pavement as my dreamland,
watching mercury puddles shudder
on a murky suburban street,
tensing at the urban foxy shriek,
listening to the slick–slick of tyres
as the night cruises home.
Me – I’m fine, I’m fine.
He’s cheerful when I sit next to him, in the front,
last job of the evening, then I’m off home
pride swells as he tells of the new hot-tub in his garden,
and how he and his wife sit, passing a floating dish
of strawberries between them as the sun sinks,
we’ve got our own little piece of paradise
he says tenderly, we’re living the dream
as he speeds away in to the evening
I can picture the two of them, contented,
and their bobbing strawberry bowl.
their mass confers a fluency
their singularity does not possess.
as if there is some master-plan
to take the ridge
secure the high ground and
execute a stunning pincer movement:
the plan is lost
and what had form
is now reduced to randomness.
Such is the life of sheep.
Diana Cant is a child psychotherapist and poet, returning to poetry after a clinical career. She lives and works in Kent, and is a student on the MA Writing Poetry course run by the Poetry School in London. She is a member of the Mid Kent Stanza group.