The Visit

Sunday evening and here we are, sharing a visit with Betti Angus. I can almost taste the warm buttered rolls.

The Visit – by Betti Angus
A grey place, this place.
Cement-harled houses hunker
round the sludge brown bay.
The snaky crazy main street
narrows the north wind to a knife –
a blade which stings and flays.

It’s a charity shop now, the baker’s
which sold warm rolls on blue mornings –
still warm when I pulled out their insides
and slathered yellow butter
on that soft doughy prize.

I loiter at shop windows,
dawdle down thin closes to
waste time at the seaweed shore.
The living room must be thirty degrees or more
but you’re wearing your winter cardigan.

You seem pleased to see me.

From a biscuit tin of old photographs
you name every girl in your year
at school. Amo amas amat…
But you don’t recognise my picture
and your face is glazed with tears.

The roar of the game show soon
mutes our attempts to talk.
The subtitles are out of sync.
I’m drowning in afternoons.

You seemed pleased to see me.

The sun smiled on the day I sailed home,
and the sky and the sea shone pale.
The fields were a bright, sheep-cropped green
but the little town was still grey.


‘The visit’ was first published in Northwords Now.


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