Magpie

I could stay on this train all day

because the memories

are not even about drinking

or maybe they are

trying

flying like

magpies swooping

make me afraid of all birds

for a time

remembering

how he

came sauntering

out of an angry office

to laugh with us in the afternoon light

his best work, unpaid

sun through window panes

shines out from

amassed clouds and

glimpses of bowl-blue sky

oh, excitement

the dangerous world

outside

tucked in behind

with music and disease

dirty balconies fleet

from the carriage

safely watching

stacks of old things

forever-unwanted

spilling

from too-small rooms

where corner cobwebs

are never cleaned, then

a ragged white rubbish

plastic bag or cloth or thing

flutters like

a cloud-water dog

on the side of the tracks

I’m emptied out

like an undersized room

and refilled to the brim

with

memories of old sunshine

mixed with new risk, it

sparks my magpie eye

once again

life takes wing

 

Photo: Claire Doble

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