Tom Wiggins




Cotinus Coggygria [koe-TY-nus koe-GIG-ree-ah]

I was thinking about
the point distance becomes
long-distance between two
lovers in the future,
and how technology
will speed everything up:
the journey to her house
or her journey to yours;
when you can surprise mum
and say, ‘I’ve met a girl
west of Buenos Aires,’
and she’d say, ‘Thank goodness
you’ve found someone local!’
And when dad hears the news,
you’d see his shoulders drop
in relief as he thought
how much petrol he’d save
in a deep depression,
one thousand recessions
from now. Neither would know
where Buenos Aires was,
but they were both certain
they’d been: ‘Didn’t you have
a birthday party there?
Or was it to collect
those photos we had framed
and mounted in the hall?’
For trips that are simpler
than the turn of a key,
I hope you’ll have balloons,
gifts wrapped with ribbon bows
and unspoilt surprises
still available to
keep you both sane, and once
settled, can consider
through quadruple glazing
the red veins of a tree
that grows in your garden
your young wife is convinced
is a Royal Purple.
And almost above all,
I wish to Whomever,
that you’ll have an uncle
who gets smashed on sloe gin
at family parties,
who talks about days that
seem religions away,
and is five times over
the drink-fly limit; slumped
in the summer, against
your auntie’s final straw.

Tom Wiggins is a 26 year-old poet from Gloucestershire.  He has a short story published in Broo, an Edinburgh anthology.  He writes on the subject of film, music and poetry here (  He tweets @thewigginsboy.


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