He mentions how he loves to walk
under an umbrella in the rain, how its drumming
gives him so much pleasure; he doesn’t get the irony –
how much she yearns for this, and the beating
of a downpour on her night-time window pane.
The bloody useless fusing of the tiny bones
in her middle ear: malleus, incus, stapes.
Tomorrow: she’ll walk along the water’s edge
towards the mouth of the German blockhaus,
imagine the bay they watched in the war,
catalogue her vision, plunder her sound bank
to recall waves shushing on the shore, racket
of children shrieking, splashing, the pock pock
of that couple with bat and ball. Remember,
and record it all.
Marilyn Longstaff lives in Darlington and is a member of Vane Women (www.vanewomen.co.uk). Her previous books include Puritan Games, Sitting among the Hoppers and Raiment. Her latest book, Articles of War, was published by Smokestack in February 2017. Increasingly, she finds herself writing about the experience of losing her hearing.