a fleeting glance
is a chance
a weighty word,
flies like a bird
for a song
Hiding’s not possible when he decides
to talk to you; to ask a question like
‘have you a beard?’:- and everything falls still,
or ‘Are you mad?’:- and you pause in the void,
or ‘are you bovvered?’:- and silence abounds
catching your breath because spotlights are on
and you might say the wrong thing:
bearded or bovvered or mad – Well??
And it’s ridiculous how quickly you blush
just because it’s not so easy to answer
routinely. Behind the question
lies a sly question, a poke
bringing you live to connection, ‘can you connect?’
and there’s a boy laughing and doing his work.
light is glimpsing out from its winter shell,
spreading brightness as a trapdoor falls.
It’s 5.15 pm in a snowy Tuesday
gloaming that is diligent and tender.
Trash is piled beneath empty train seats
and, outside, a river turns West to salt.
Birds and wind drop to quiet evening sun
and, on, our train plunges into a tunnel
blacker than a night has ever known
but knowing, also, light advances, grows.
A man and wife hold hands
sitting on the left side of a moving train.
They seem in love - though that kind of thing
is hard to know
because, in February, snow melts and freezes, melts
and, as we hammer North, their bodies
vibrate; little hands
and eyes connecting where the warmth is.