Friday, 18 May 2018


by Aileen Paterson

on this cold day
on a barge where the stove is just heating up

and Giovanna’s wrapped in my green coat
and sat out front alone where ducks go by

and a cormorant
strayed from rocky shores

and I’m sipping coffee with John who is
writing everything down

and the sound of pen on paper is comforting
like our words are moving us along

and out back Bev steers and chats
with Debbie, Steve and Pat

and I clamber up into weak sunlight and smiles
from passers by who are not used to barges

or boats of any sort on this stretch of water
this neglected highway now only for joggers, dog walkers

and the trees reach out branches
as outstretched hands

and warehouses, churches, new flats pass by
until at last we arrive

back where we started
thrown ropes tied fast

held still, secure
in this gathering of souls

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