The Visitor
You arrive for the weekend welcome as a mini heat wave.
Seeing you only twice a year now since your move to Manchester,
a split second's pause at your mocha skin, black cherry eyes…
which knocking about together made me blind to,
but that have driven several of my female friends to try and ‘turn you’.
300 mile drive and you are fresh as if chauffeured by limo.
We bowl down to Folkestone for ice cream, cockles and the WW1 arch.
Visiting on the cusp of an art festival, an illuminated sign on a roof,
Heaven is a place where nothing ever happens,
belly laughter as a 30 foot sea gull is towed by. This always happens to us.
Three seater sofa ordered in your visit’s honour delayed,
you insist I take the only arm chair with a Well you are 10 years older,
recline on the floor as if it was a 19th century chaise longue.
My eyelids shutters closing on the day, you take yourself off for a
stroll round Canterbury, chat to a young barman over a nightcap.
Your visit coincides with the Hop festival I usually cold shoulder.
In the high street chavs and pit bulls have been replaced by
local bands, vintage stalls, Morris dancers…
We titter at adults sporting hop headgear, but two lagers later
I wear a Titania chaplet, you a Bacchus crown.
Sunday our activity binge catches up with us,
we yawn over a late breakfast. You still have an itinerary
of lunch and tea with family and friends before the drive north.
Hugs at the front door. You leave. I do the washing up, change the bedding …
feeling as if I have suffered a mini bereavement.

Fiona Sinclair

If you have any comments on this poem, Fiona Sinclair would be pleased to hear from you.