Skipping Poem

Every day, rope in hand, I

Open the door.

First thing, the soft smell of flowers

And new greening.

Second thing, the birds

Cooing, calling, tussling,

Floating, blasting like torpedoes

Over treetops, above the flats.

Third thing, breathe in

Cool in the morning, and no sound

But swish of rope and slap of feet.

Step step step


At eight thirty

The man from Number Seven comes

Newspaper under his arm and

Fog of cigarette smoke over

Sloping shoulders

In an ancient oiled jacket

Every day:

“Good morning”

“Getting fit?”


“Good morning, y’all right?”

“As well as can be”

“Good morning”

“You’re making progress, girl”

“Good morning”

“Well – we have to stop meeting this way”

Every day, I hold out hope that

I’ll see him tomorrow walking

Share thirty seconds of Cockney greetings,

Keep him alive.