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January 2014, vol 9, no 4

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Claire Everett

Going Back

These are the old habits, the bad pennies. They loiter with intent to catch you off guard. They sleep rough, waiting for you to trip over them, often when you’re half asleep yourself. Too late. You’re in the bad part of town where the streets all look the same. Suddenly, you turn a corner and you know exactly where you are. There’s that one storey, but each time you reach it via a different stairwell.

one step up
two steps down
yellow leaves

There’s no use thinking you can give them the slip because they’re masters of subterfuge. Your next thought is a blind alley and that shady character has already caught up with you.

And when, eventually, you get there, don’t let the old place fool you, either. That tea shop called Serendipity is now a casino. They’ve concreted over the fountain and there are speed bumps on Memory Lane.

cobblestone shadows . . .
the you and I
who fell in love