On This Time


Sometimes I think of my daughter

and I’m not there. In her future.

On the train he asked me what

I’d been writing and I told

him I was writing my future.

Word by word it’s a story no one wants

telling. That’s self-indulgent. I should

drink more. Or less. On the train he asked

me about my brother and I remembered

someone else asking if that was the problem.

Was I jealous maybe? At weekends when

I’m reunited with my wife it’s a reprieve.

We were divorced on Monday until Friday

and now we’re reconciled. On the train

he told me he was divorced now but

it was okay because he had a flat in Northwich.

At home I looked at flats because home wasn’t home.

When I drank more or less I started listening

to Seamus Heaney and I remembered the poem

I wrote when I’d read too much of him, the one

about dead Romans. I was making a mythology

that wasn’t peat buried. I’m all for that fate. Peat bogged.

Last night in bed I was on a train going north.

Alone. Then with the dog. Then alone again.

In a cove I finally got some sleep. I dreamed

of my daughter. It was the future. I wasn’t there.