The damp that squats in gritstone hearts of two-bed terraces.
The stumble of rooftops polished dark as funeral brogues.
The promiscuity of green, having its way with every crack
and hole, every startled moss that punks from rock and stump.
And the mushrooms, stained and freckled uglies
sacking off school to lurk in woodland, to squat on tree trunks;
and the river’s soft bloat; a run off of the great original swell
for adventure, for deep zephyr-lunged and salty elsewhere.
Then the clods and clumps and thickets in racing, office and tea,
sap and dogged hunter, pale myrtle and spotty verdigris.
The rotten luck that sets in for good, the fool’s errands
through the dank and drear; the endless lessons in renewal.
And the lichens that attach themselves to lonely places,
unworldly vagrants born of thin air and exposure.
The let-down of kindling giving like Jaffa cakes.
as you kick up the wet leaves of the calendar, dog in tow.
Now look, there’s me in my middle-twenties,
on the long walk home in the rain after closing.
The streetlamps are doffing their concrete caps
as if the elements had ever taken a blind bit of notice.
Miranda Yates lives in Manchester where she is a primary teacher. She has published poetry in Poetry Review, The Rialto, Magma and the North. She was chosen as one of the Poetry Trust’s Aldeburgh Eight poets in 2015.