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by Katie Hourigan

Polyphony, Volume 2, Issue 1

First published April 2020, Manchester


I would like October to last forever,

everything anew in the yellow light.

The colours that line the banks of the curry mile

ring true; pillar box red, turmeric signs,

Worldwide foods, shisha and shawarma, off licence

on time, I roll onto my toes, stretch my shadow.

The yellow trees shiver, wane and weep,

I reach up to catch them as they fall,

remembering sycamore spirals,

bronzed conkers rotting in my pockets,

the silver skeleton of a leaf, mottled

as a peppered moth. I want to frame it all,

press them as my mother does with seaweed -

- painstaking, fronds splayed flat on the dimpled pad,

layered with newspaper clippings to halt the rot.

The red brick aglow

warm as the sandstone that every year crumbles,

clatters, into the rock pool puddles below.

Canadian geese in their staggered arrow

strain forward, over and above.

I wonder if they’ve ever been to Toronto,

swapped paths with my parents,

young and shiny and married and new,

where glass air hurt your lungs to breathe.

Tomorrow the rain will on catch my lashes,

today the sky is blue.


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