The Red Scarf - Poem by Tan Morgan
October's dying, and I'm looking for a friend,
A kindred spirit I've mislaid
Somewhere between a grief and recollection.
This bus - an any bus - pulls up,
Pale girl on the back seat, gazing through
The window's filth, the rain, and me;
Flat caps, black macs,
A mother with a flower in her hair;
The engine's warmth;
A kind of comfort here.
Telford's ribcage arches over us: the Strait today is black,
Three hundred feet below our wheels.
My eyes explore the streets and buildings,
People toiling up the hill;
There's a skinny T-shirt boy in the draught
Of a Bangor pavement; there's a spaniel scuffing leaves.
Doorways of tattoo parlours, take aways,
All bare: the beggars have departed. Trees,
Redleaf beacons in empty parks; homes
Where curtains are drawn tight -
I wonder if my friend has curtains,
Has a home to go to.
'Pick a stop', I tell myself. I hit a bar:
Damp people couched in lamplit solitudes;
Wood and candles, beer and coffee grounds
And smoke; no cries of bonhomie,
No dawning recognition. All through town,
Fat pumpkins, spiderwebs, and ghosts,
And gaps between the rain, where memories stir.
I buy myself a crimson scarf,
Wrap up against the dark,
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