This brings back pleasant memories to me

The unremitting loneliness of cities

When I was younger and my granddad’s
hand still fit snug
in mine,

I learnt that birds
fly south for the winter.

“That’s ridiculous,”
I said.
“How do they find each other
again when they get

He looked at me then,
tore his eyes away
from the ocean –
I thought it stretched on forever –
and told me;

“Someone wise once said
that home is where
the heart
and I suppose
that if they stay together
then they can’t get
far lost.”

I didn’t understand; home
was blackberries and
tea and the smell
of Sunday dinner
on Tuesday;

but later that night
as I walked
by the sea, I
saw footprints –

the sand was scarred

and etched with curling toes
and heels.

Two sets intertwined, and I
felt warm, as though
my mother had wrapped me in blankets
and set me
on her knee,

and I…

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