Late going home after minor delays,
you might be walking past
‘the worst guest house in England’
or a church’s backlit triptych of saints
and watching for nothing more grave
than a displaced traffic sign.
The whole town is doing its best.
Even now the river’s only troubled
by a cormorant’s neck like a snag.
Monumental Victorians rest in peace.
Behind these emphatic hoardings,
developments will occur.
Lifestyle smiles from every angle.
Some things are easier said than done.
Ignoring overheard remarks
or epidemic rumours turning heads,
you might be amongst the bustle and puff
of a delayed windowshopper’s
You were thinking
how it might have been otherwise
when you were caught at the lights
with all hopes dashed
by a misread magazine headline:
You are what you were.
A version of this poem was previously posted online by Various Artists.