I kept thinking of trying to telephone a girl I hadn’t seen in years, but her number looked so strange now in my old address book. There wasn’t even a ringing tone. I began to stamp my foot and curse. My wife wondered what all the fuss was about and decided to leave me there and then, in the muddy field where there had been a fair that day, but which was now almost deserted. I was sure the number had once worked in the days when I spoke the girl’s language fluently.


The only way to get the small child
to the street below was to carry her
in one arm and use my other
to let us both down
two curtains tied together 

but by the time I got to the ground, the child
was no longer with me. Had I dropped her
or in my panic had I left her behind at the top?
Or had she made her own way, faster
and more agile than me?

Ian Seed



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