Monday, 24 June 2013

The girl from the belle époque

 Draft of a poem of sorts

Sometime into a half-hearted summer,
we're still pinning our hopes
on showers clearing
and redemptive sunshine after rain.
Umbrellas flex along the waterfront –
or, collapsed, poke from a bin.

Across Europe, cities are loud with protest,
though you’d hardly know it here.
Sporadic wi-fi connections bring
stray hints, old news, a photograph.

On edge amongst the package tours,
we’re looking down into
perfect reflections of day-trip boats
moored at the quayside,
seeming ghosts of sunk ships.
Or overlooking the city
from a flat warehouse roof.

It’s temptation back to days –
those days – when, stalled
in this same, familiar light,
you were halfway up the garden path
and she was in shade,
arguing the politics,
a few exotic steps across the grass.

Tom Phillips 2013

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