I Thought – by Lesley Quayle

I Thought

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.
                                                                   I thought
the narratives of ‘mucky oyl’ and soot stained mills
like teeth gone bad, would sabotage that other,
keener hurt, remind me why
                                                     I thought
it would be fine to leave. The tactics of delusion.
My greener bailiwick of fells and sheep, hay meadows,
black skies wheeled with stars,
                                             I thought
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
                                                      I thought
to dissolve the ache, like copper pennies
in Coke. But it’s maudlin beneath my skin, I feel
unexpected affection – protective.
                                         I thought
to unpick all the echoes, bridge both
hemispheres –  oasis/sinkhole, National Park or
dreggy, blighted back-to-backs.
                                                      I thought,
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.

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