07 January 2018

on travelling

There are things you miss, travelling
Absent things recalled
I miss having my own coffee up,
buying machined hot brown something
No anticipatory smell from opening the bag,
coffee scented with hazelnuts and familiarity

I look at a different menu most nights,
restaurants and hotels, I choose quickly
and eat alone, observing the company
Sometimes a colleague will join me, and rarer, a friend.
I miss cooking at home, or buying a pizza,
heating it up, adding toppings and calling that cooking

I see countries, cities, streets and villages,
Hills and mountains, enclosing forests, shores
Bridges spanning firths and estuaries, and clouds
from the plane. Skies and skies, and more skies and
driving in rain, spatters of red lights and headlights
And always the road, a grey thread sewing the routes

But I sometimes miss my roof terrace.
The decking is slowly rotting because of the rain
but when the sun shines it is a little oasis in my city
Overgrown tubs, grasses and herbs returning to wild
Sitting sipping coffee under contrails and hearing the traffic
knowing that I don’t have to be in it

I sleep easily, in four poster beds, under chintz
or in a modern family room, blandness acceptable
for a night or two. It’s rare to get a view, a horizon
I miss my bed too. For two nights a week, I sleep there
with nowhere to go when I wake
Yet still, I resist the rooting of routine

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