House Hunting

What happened to Mrs B
who lived in Beaufort street?
Offered us a place
and didn’t take it back
when she first saw us,
out at heel, one case,
baby in a basket.
She kept faith
and handed us the key.

Then we wronged her,
ran away, erased
from the directory when
we turned the corner
in a hired van,
all four of us in front,
watching out for cops
while waiting to cross
at the junction
on Wandsworth road.

Beds, books, pots, guitars
packed in the back,
pulled up outside a terrace
with a purple door,
bare wires in the hall,
a roof of cracked
Welsh slate.

*

When you asked,
Do you want to die in this house?
that was unexpected
as we were driving north
on the A3 at the time
and my answer,
I’m going to live for ever,
didn’t help.

We’ve been here too long,
so we search down backstreets
in south coast suburbs,
anywhere the sea suddenly opens
its unforgiving horizon
and reassuring breath.

But if we‘d moved ten times
since nineteen eighty
we’d still be on the A3,
wondering what to do
with the time we think
we have left.

Chris Hardy has been widely published. He is a member of  LiTTLe MACHiNe, described by Carol-Anne Duffy as The most brilliant poetry band in the world. His collection, ‘Sunshine at the end of the world’ was published by Indigo Dreams.

A guitarist and poet Chris Hardy hits the right note, never a false note, (Roger McGough).