Sitting at the kitchen table, patio doors open,
someone’s playing the first few notes
of the Pink Panther theme tune
in the supermarket car park.
Usually I hear car horns and barking dogs.
Today it’s the sax.
When people ask where I come from
I say a small market town on the edge of the Pennines.
We have the usual mix of good luck and suicides.
Occasionally farmers are arrested
for growing cannabis in barns.
It’s not the sort of place where the sax
is commonly heard in the street.
The writing workshop at Café Crème
was cancelled tonight.
They’re digging up the road
and the electricity’s off.
Nothing for it but to sit here trying to write.
‘This is a shit poem,’ I say when you come in.
‘Well, it’s a shit saxophonist,’ you say. ‘What do you expect?’
(first published in Orbis no.184, summer 2018)