The Figure in the Distance

by John Stocks

For there was something and nothing,
The lonely drunk in the last bus shelter,
The exhausted shop girl dreaming of home,
And a thing that was not but might have been.

Just some foreshortened figure,
Little more than brittle lines and shadow,
Between tea-grey sand, the darkening sky,
And guest house landladies drawing curtains.

The horizon was her edge of reason,
A vague collage of all her distant dreams,
His rough voice, strong arms and kindling smile,
His wickedness; her desperate desire.

And when the fog was suddenly cleared,
She shook, startled by her own voice,
It was the thing she feared the most;
‘Of course’, she said, ‘they moved to the coast!’

Copyright © 2012 by John Stocks

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