for Kate Etheridge
Every now and then I sit for a while
with your wood and grain and bole. I place my finger
in the words that say this was from all of us
and think about the pulse that thumped your head
until no one could take away the pain.
You’ve weathered well, attracting squirrels, birds
and women who walk their dogs. As yet you’re not
defaced, and ten years on you’re part of what
lives, grows, belongs here in this place. Pacing
the park on a Sunday afternoon you’d try
to figure out how things might change when
life was easier again; and I still sit,
my arm resting on yours, wondering much
the same. No answers yet, only wet
ochre leaves falling through your slats.
The afternoon you drove me home
from the house where we had made Christmas together
there was already magic in the air.
We had woken to the muffled sound of whiteness
hoar-frosting the lavender, rosemary, thyme,
a crisp linen duvet tucked into the hills.
Across the dashboard our words sparkled
falling into each other’s mouths like wet light.
We were driving into a blizzard of delight
— a deeper place we didn’t know —
and even now I still wonder
would we be in love if it wasn’t for the snow?
Rosie Miles lives in Birmingham where her poem ‘You enter’ is etched into King’s Heath urban village square. Her debut pamphlet was CUTS (HappenStance, 2015), and she has been published in numerous poetry magazines. In 2017 she was chosen as part of the Arts Council/Nine Arches Press Dynamo Mentoring Scheme, supporting poets from under-represented communities. Twitter @RosieMilesPoet