Real Time

Catriona Yule


In her anorak-home,
a hood to cower
from the rain.

In this haven,
she breathes droplets,
moistens the night's blanket.

In the black she can hear
that tick in her head:
Come home, Petal,
come home.

She imagines them reading,
gripping the letter:
words, wrecked.

They'll put it back
in the torn envelope,
then take it out:
again and again.

But it won't make sense.
She'll be back for tea.
the bacon strips

flounder on a plate.
A clock's arm crashes.
Ten —
a broken mantelpiece.

In the black the face,
her real father's watch:
a tiny clocked universe,

like a moon's full belly
dilating seconds:

come home, Petal,

come home.


Published in Northwords Now Issue 4, 2006
(Northwords Now)
and in Shedding Skin, 2007
(Koo Press)

Northwords Now 4 Shedding Skin

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