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.