(i.m. Roy Fisher)
On Temple Street, a lad
with no shoes in grey socks hands over
a lighted cigarette without stopping
or looking to the girl with the pony tail
selling The Big Issue,
her belongings and dog beside her
near the cathedral
where you remembered
the grounds full of starlings.
Thought I saw you on Corporation Street
yesterday – in your early fifties,
wearing that raincoat, climbing on a bus.
Cliff Yates' latest collection is Jam (Smith/Doorstop). Previous collections include Henry's Clock and Frank Freeman's Dancing School (Salt Publishing; KFS). He has been the winner of the Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and the Poetry Business Competition. This poem is from a forthcoming pamphlet with Knives Forks & Spoons Press.