It was hail out of nowhere,
sleet, slush, rain. The usual
February conversation. Not the one
where I say my brother’s friend
fancied himself in 1993 and of course
my mother tells my brother,
so then I don’t know
whether I need to apologise or explain.
If I had any sense I’d leave it.
And in a way he was trusting,
let’s look at it that way. After all
I might have driven it back
into a wall, just a few very new,
very white, expensive inches
of convertible that someone
needed to repark that hot summer’s day.
Of course he was rash to ask me,
I’ve just illustrated that. But I parked
without mishap and I gave him back his keys.
So no, that’s not the conversation I meant.
The one about the weather was a prelude.
The comic business with the car
a rather obvious play for time.
Yesterday I stood on Jumping Downs.
That’s a bit more like it,
we’re getting there now.
I’d talked about the weather,
which I’m good at. Made a few
satirical observations. Then I was up
where it wasn’t yet raining, on the hill.
But the wind was marching
over it, I was talking,
God perhaps trying
to get a word in edgeways.
When I saw the gulls
running and running
inches above the ground.
I remembered as a child
doing this, leaning back a little further,
no one there to catch me but the wind.
Carolyn Oulton‘s poetry has been published in magazines including Orbis, The Frogmore Papers, iota, Seventh Quarry, Ariadne’s Thread, Envoi, New Walk, Upstreet, Acumen and Ink, Sweat and Tears. Her most recent collection Accidental Fruit is published by Worple Press. Her website is at carolynoulton.co.uk