The Stickerhttps://i1.wp.com/barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/IMG_20190327_1847231.jpg?fit=1920%2C1440&ssl=119201440Iain TwiddyIain Twiddyhttps://barrenmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/iaintwiddy.jpg
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.
Iain Twiddy studied literature at university, and lived for several years in northern Japan. His poems have been published in Flyway, Quiddity, Poetry Ireland Review, The London Magazine and elsewhere.