Poem by Audrey Ardern-Jones

Benches on the Prom

he fed sea birds here

still they squat beside his seat peck air
stare sideways wish that his orange quilted anorak
would reappear throw crusts

if you are here I am with you

two men in black brimmed hats
sit side by side most days they save a space
sandwiches on their laps tea in flasks

once more unto the beach

friends crowd this bench velvet coats
high boots they speak in actor’s voices drink bubbly
take it in turn to recite his lines

smoke me a kipper I’ll be back for breakfast

some nights he sleeps here wrapped in a brown duffle coat
smokes roll-ups same as his old pal
dips digestives in his flask of coffee

I’ll see ya on the ice kid

binoculars focussed on skit-skat clouds
he tracks her skates sees her diamante skater’s skirt
she’s dancing backwards

Benches on the Prom by Audrey Ardern-Jones received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (February 2018) judged by Mandy Pannett.