As you go
you leave part of yourself and it hesitates
in the hallway, trapped in the afternoon’s half-light.
That first hour I pace the house, trace your
from stair to door making sure they crossed the mat.
I pull the curtains tight at the top, right to the top
and your things strewn across the front lawn
sit up, sigh and then scatter.
I shut the curtains as if they are
so you can’t feel your way in, but I know
the fabric is thin, the lining is
I slip my hand through to close the window
so the room can’t draw you, heave you to
this end of the hall where my head whirrs
at every sound the street makes: a car door’s slam,
a woman’s shout, the wheels of a pram scraping
the pavement and a child who lags, drags his feet,
his football boots clumping. A
leans against the wall, and all I can think to do
is wrap my hands round the dog’s muzzle
so he can’t make a sound.
If you have any comments on this poem, Abegail Morley would be