Simon Leonard




The One that Got Away

They said it was a slow day in personal fitness.
They said it was a lorry going by.

But when love walked in wearing his Tuesday suit
The photocopiers started reproducing, immaculately,
Perfect versions of the same vacancy;
The coffee machine anticipated its twenty minute whine
Of life by a temporary miracle
And the tinfoil ashtrays in the canteen
Erupted in tremulous applause.

They said it was office party syndrome;
They said it couldn’t outlast June.

But you escaped the high fidelity of the computer’s one green eye;
If not scandal in the toilets
And you flew with love through factory land
Down the motorway in cloud like a car,
Past the service stations and the corrugated installations
And the giant models on hoardings inviting speculation
From semi-interest stirring by,
Towards the airport and a dream of release.

They say you sold time shares in Lanzarote
They say at least your tan’s your own;
These things were never meant to last —
A desperate confusion of needs and last chances
And they can only imagine how it damages the skin.

They say love woke up after a month
And left you with the hotel bill
And Sangria stains on the memory.
Of course he went back to his wife.

Where you went we don’t really know
But we’re expecting a postcard.



Although Simon Leonard has reached an age at which even his parents consider abandoning their ambition for him, he remains an inconsistently optimistic writer of poetry in English and at best an intermittently ambitious writer of short fiction in Spanish. He has had poetry published in Envoi and has been shortlisted in two fiction competitions. He currently lives in the United Arab Emirates, where he teaches English Literature in a Secondary school. He is married with two children.

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