The Sticker

The Sticker

The Sticker 1920 1440 Iain Twiddy

He said Let’s put a sticker on the streetlight
one of the ’85 ones no one would swap,
the streetlight that stood right by the silver birch,
pale as a sinking stone. It would be funny,
plus it would leave a shadow on the pavement.

So he climbed up and I climbed up just under,
in case he fell. And he stretched out and smeared it
barely at the edge. It didn’t really stick;
it wrinkled on the ridges, but it was still
a secret, and I promised not to tell.

Well, I guess it must have got nibbled away,
even there, on the underside of the rain;
it must have dripped with the catkins, or shriveled
in the wind and sun, unpeeling like a leaf.
Either way, no one ever stopped to look up,

and maybe even he doesn’t remember;
so it doesn’t matter that I’m letting this slip,
after looking up in a dark park in Kyōto,
glimpsing him leaning out through the thin silver boughs,
with the snow frittering down, as if from his glow.

Header photograph © Anne Wheeler.

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