I feel these four walls closing in, she says
in this town where shuttered pizza shops
jostle with boarded pubs. You can still get
a quick tan here, mind you, as North Sea wind
scuffs the slates from roofs, as squat hills
behind the main street slump towards the sea.
I have my memories, though, she says,
her grasshopper legs braced against a frame,
aye, that’s what matters. All those memories
blowing like crisp packets dancing down gutters
growing like lichen crusting yellow stone
stuck like chewing gum on library floors.
Count your blessings, that’s the thing, she says
count till you lose track of numbers, count
blessings like pigeons roosting under bridges
blessings like starlings whistling from wires.
Count them as you’d count slippery churchyard steps,
as you’d count odd socks, teaspoons, missing friends.
Julian Dobson lives in Sheffield, England, home of the famous Henderson’s Relish. His poems have appeared in publications including Magma, Under the Radar, and Acumen, and on a bus in Guernsey. More of his work is at 52poemsinayear.wordpress.com