‘Leather-Bound Road’ by Luke Kennard

Leather-Bound Road

Should anybody ask me how we met I’ll read them
Ansel Adams on photography and say it’s in
the way the artist brings out of the landscape
what the frame brings out of the painting.
Which is to say you bring out the best in me,
but not the way the Maillard reaction
brings out the best in food through the combination
of amino acids, reducing sugars and heat.
It’s more the way the right wine brings out the right light
and the scene reflected in your eye places me
front and centre, peering in, trying to describe the colour.
It’s what the singer does between the words
that makes the words the words and not just words.
The way the crows that currant-stud the risen green
don’t startle as I cycle through and crunch the gears.
Distracted weavers weave their hair into the tapestry,
a knight which leapt six hours ago makes sense now.
The way the symphony opens up only when you know
what’s coming next, your place in it and why (or not).
The way the past’s not even past and looking back
I overlooked the beauty of the worst of it.
The exam flunked, the form misfiled, the blown bulb
and the curtain drawn which caused the bar’s inviting glow.
This way that led with more coincidence and happenstance
than a minor Victorian novel and yet with the absolute
conviction of its binding, and with gratitude, to you.
(from A Lost Expression to be published by Salt, 16 October 2012)
Luke Kennard is the author of four volumes of poetry and two pamphlets.
He lectures at the University of Birmingham and reviews fiction for The National.

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