The falter he failed to grasp still haunts,
and even though she explained it four
times over now with evaporating tears;
a little expenditure still wouldn't go amiss.
The leap from these quilts takes a little longer
now, a modern day lightness much required
for such tasks was lost in his early thirties, and
makes the retreat that little more cumbersome.
The red bricks that gleam from outside, still
the same shade since his teens, like an
unremarkable backdrop, that seems to decorate
each decision made, and is only removed once
the rest of the set has comfortably crumbled.
From outside of his blanket, he crawls slowly
towards each corner, the wall paper stained
with smoke from both their lungs, and with
a brittle throw, hits the light switch, if only for
want of a shadow.
To Stare In
I sit under what light the trees allow to
muster, their branches like a net, unable
however, to fall and eventually drench me.
I sit upon the raised sod, the river trickles
not far from the city, the bars with crowds
out doors, the clicking of heels, the
charity shops and off-licences, all with
walls as constantly willing as ever.
My head bows with each breath, my
cigarette now causing far too much irritation,
the space I wrestled now seems far wider
here, at last my hands are free from those
The conversations can now flow, yet still
only in solitude; at least this is a start, and
old faces really have no place here anymore,
they're replayed with that climb I am told is
perpetual, by those still yet to fall.
This town, I have given everything and received
nothing, other than the recycled apologies not
worth the tongues they rolled out from.
During the bus journey through your borders,
a laugh from the couple behind evokes again
that fear, the fear that after a while just became
a comfort, like a blanket secretly laced with poison.
The walls are now buffed of our markings, my
ankles still splintered from the nightly chases
that made our evenings passable, and made
the pulling of our roots that more possible.
I gave all to these walls and roads, as my back
still remains turned in right direction, as I stand
beneath the blossom encrusted branches, that
paint shadows like broken fingers, and let the
others pass once more, their smiles as fixed as
© Jonathan Butcher
Bio: Jonathan Butcher is a poet based in Sheffield in the North of England. He has had work appear in Electric Windmill Press, The Rusty Nail, Elbow Room, The English Chicago Review, Dead Beats, Gutter Eloquence, Underground Voices and others. His chapbook 'Concrete Cradle' has recently been published by Fire Hazard Press.