was a blurring of sleet on red brick
our freedom compromised by the minutiae of ticks
library time spent with the ponderous clock.
Hours wasted in back room pubs
disparate furniture ringed with filmy eyed accusations,
Guinness and Gitanes fuelled arguments
spooling in long looping coils like a faulty cassette
sluggard days lost before the sky switched to night,
wet pavements, the slick of traffic.
The incident in Albert Square when you climbed his statue
in those ridiculous Cuban heels and red satin flares,
the flush of your cheeks competing with neon.
Buck-rabbit thighs running for the bus
memory in sticky layers, cold bodies, cold room
rain on a skylight, a glint of refraction distorting the view.
You were always the centre of my city
but I was too brim full
too soon you were packed and gone.
Submitted by Tina Cole, 67, Herefordshire