Opposite sides of the road, waiting for the little green man.
An old lady mutters near me, impatient, laden with plastic bags.
I can’t wait to pass you in the middle,
I know that the beeping and the grumbling engines will fall silent,
As I catch your gaze.
But today is one of those days –
Headphones firmly in and beanie hat pulled down tight,
Your eyes never lift from the tarmac
That glisters with frost in this cold month.
You’re like an animal that hibernates, so tentative in every winter breath.
When it was warm you used to catch my gaze. In the summer
When I wore jeans and a belly top,
And not this school skirt, with the wool socks,
And broken plimsolls,
Around cold wet toes.
I wonder if we will cross paths again in the summer when I’m seventeen,
And I wonder–
“Eh, love – the light’s just gone green.”
By Rachel Norris
(Prompts: wistful, traffic lights, Alan Warner quote)