A new poem published in the TLS recently.
The rain I brought north with me,
a Yorkshire veil, the sky
like something almost-overheard
or like the petrified grey bird
inside the Kelvingrove Museum,
its neat impression of an owl,
the stuffed, beige dog that looked
as if it might still howl,
a rooted sentry on a tall, glass case,
the cheetah with its elevated
face and one raised paw. The way
we tried to move as if we’d
not been here before.
The science test we stopped to take,
to see if we were sensitive
to bitterness – a white strip,
held for seconds on the tongue.
A strangeness they said
wouldn’t last for good.
Or how you couldn’t taste it
and I could.