Going back to Hull

The land changes at the turn;
spreading itself wide
as though it has surrendered.
The brown Humber
levels with the shore.
Now there is only one way
in or out.

Here there is little to distract
the eye, allowing time
to see what matters.
To look into the spaces
between the walls
to watch the clouds
to notice faces.

The buses trolley along,
the pubs are full
and those that aren’t
still mark the corners.
Municipal brass is shone.
Homeless men are left to doze.
The gulls cry.

And on this summer’s day
as plump children play
in sparkling fountains newly- built
I feel a softening
unexpected yet familiar
as though a hand was resting
lightly on my shoulder.

I am back nearer the beginning
when the days lasted longer,
walking unencumbered
in this city of sky
smiling even before I see you
look up expectantly
as I open the door.

Going back to Hull

Written September 2017 when re-visiting Hull, City of Culture