that driving back through Bradford might alleviate
the pain. Its dialects of stone and slate, a slab sky
steamed open on a spout of sunlight.
the narratives of ‘mucky oyl’ and soot stained mills
like teeth gone bad, would sabotage that other,
keener hurt, remind me why
it would be fine to leave. The tactics of delusion.
My greener bailiwick of fells and sheep, hay meadows,
black skies wheeled with stars,
there’s not enough bairns’ tea in all the world
to comfort and my heart’s a blade in my chest.
Back, south, through Bradford
to dissolve the ache, like copper pennies
in Coke. But it’s maudlin beneath my skin, I feel
unexpected affection – protective.
to unpick all the echoes, bridge both
hemispheres – oasis/sinkhole, National Park or
dreggy, blighted back-to-backs.
I truly thought, that driving back through Bradford
might alleviate the pain.
Lesley Quayle is a poet and folk/blues singer currently living in The Purbecks in Dorset. She has a pamphlet, Songs For Lesser Gods (Erbacce), featuring her prizewinning sonnet sequence of the same name, and a collection, Sessions, published by Indigo Dreams.