Poetry Happening Near You

Red shoes, striped bag

Red shoes, striped bag 

I caught myself walking past the window
of a coffee shop. Just a glimpse -
as if I was a stranger, seeing myself
for the first time. Red shoes, dress of blue
and green flowers, striped bag like the flag
of an African nation, hair motoring toward carrot.
Thank god you gave up black I thought,
back then when you almost disappeared.
 

When you seemed to float like mist
over morning’s hard ground,
when the world’s mountains and trees
could be seen through your ghost body.
Those years when birds sang only one song.
I liked that momentary glimpse of colour
in the plate glass window, the shape
of myself strong and reaching, as if I was aflame.

Roz Goddard

Roz Goddard

About this poem

Poetry on Loan commissions 20 or 30 poets to write poems for our poetry postcards. The poems have to be short, accessible and on a given theme - this time it was Onwards, upwards, freedom - and the selection process is always difficult. For our front-page poem, we're be having some of the poems that didn't quite make the cut - it was close!

This one is by Roz Goddard, well known to followers of Poetry on Loan. Roz runs excellent workshops, and she is a former Birmingham Poet Laureate.