30 Poems in 30 Days – Poem #3

In Uncategorized on April 3, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Poem #3

TGIs, Westfield – 03/04/13

Daniel, our TGI waiter with badges on his braces that are holding up his trousers
and oversized black glasses resting on his rounded face,
delivers our third order of tap water.

There is a pause in which he turns to leave but reconsiders
“out of interest, I heard you talking about uni, where do you go?”
He addresses the seven of us as one,
not knowing we are spread across maps like splattered paint on a decorator’s overalls.

We work our way around the table –
Essex, Warwick, Greenwich, Exeter, Southampton, Hull, Coventry,
extending ourselves across the UK like train lines.

“So, you just all decided to meet here today”
we laugh – he must know there is something about home you never want to shake.
Sitting in Stratford Westfield – our friendships are older than this infrastructure.

It’s crazy, how every time we meet we feel past and future fusing into present,
our bodies are handbags caught in closing lifts.
Confusing how moments shift, places drift by,
we sift through people who no longer matter,
list old faces we’ve seen since we’ve been back.

We are only too aware that time has a way of scurrying through blinks, last drinks, fifty winks.
Youth does not quantify immortality just as
age is not an immediate measure of how many dreams you achieved.

Talk inevitably turns to where we’ll all be this time next year:
tasting new food and praising it in foreign languages.
Years abroad, work placements,
closer to the beginning of something and the end of everything.

We have a thousand new stories we will probably never find time to tell each other
-I didn’t know you’d passed your driving test.
-You’re running a radio show now?
-How was the house party you threw for your 20th?

Catch ups dotted around clashing term times.

Daniel returns with the bill.
In a way only students can, we work out the exact price of each of our meals,
pay half cash, half card, animatedly debate who owes the missing pound.

Paid up, we reluctantly find another place to chatter until gradually,
we split like banana peels,
holding our breath for the next time we can root ourselves in memories,
laughing until the tears come,
remembering the things we said we’d do when we were thirteen,
with the people we said them to.


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