I wake spinning like a compass seeking north,
in a cold space of walls
too far away, unpadded by books,
where the windows are in the wrong place.
I’ve swapped sirens and bumper parking,
a scrap of grass strewn with kebab wrappings
for a lawn, a magnolia, a pond of frogs,
an up-and-over garage, the cry of gulls.
I stay silent about the sadness of leaving
the Egyptian newsagent with his campaign
against porn, Gino’s lemon sorbet, bagels
eaten warm in alleys late at night.
Here the new green is blinding
and the welcome tulips from my sister
hang open, red and rude,
glossy with the threat of Spring.
First published in New Contexts 2 (2021)