Carolyn King is widely published in magazines & with three poetry collections. Competition successes over the last few years include 1st in Second Light and in Poetry on the Lake formal category and twice shortlisted for the Manchester Poetry Prize.
That night you came in out of the rain
and danced me across the landing, dripping
puddles of moonlight like stepping-stones,
I knew the carpet would never recover.
You said you liked me soaked to the skin:
we steamed together.
You’d been celebrating all the way home
(7-6 on a penalty shoot-out!),
the soggy remains of a till-receipt from The Angel
still in your trouser pocket.
I didn’t give a toss about the carpet, confident
you were made of sterner stuff.
But I was wrong.
And I saw the re-play this afternoon
when I went to collect your dry-cleaned jacket
– the moon, the cloudburst and the blue shirt
cling-filmed to your wiry frame;
for it swung into view, along with a long line
of others, cloaked in cellophane, all swaying
in 3 / 4 time like the torsos of carcasses
waltzing on abattoir hooks.
And I hugged you to me, feeling as though
you’d been handed back again;
last-waltzing around the shop, irrespective
of puzzled looks from passers-by uncertain
whether to laugh or cry at the sight of a woman
so obviously deranged.
But friends who’d laid wreaths on your grave
and had known us for thirty years
would have smiled to each other,
seeing that little had changed:
I was dancing on borrowed time
– and you were legless.
winner of Myeloma Awareness Poetry Competition, 2004 and published in The Interpreter’s House
Latest publications (available from Carolyn):
Caviare and Chips, Human Writes, 2004, ISBN 0-9531860-2-4, £5.99;
The Reunion, ISBN 0-9531860-0-8;
Lifelines, ISBN 0-9531860-1-6
Copyright© of all poems featured on this site remains with the poet