Birthday

A day so ordinary. Everything’s been said
and written before. A morning walk.
Curled cabbages spread over the field
alongside us. Chill air, low sun.
Not much of a view because of the hedges.
Not much to say except about our friend,
so ill after a simple operation.
We can’t see what’s coming next, we say
and maybe that’s as well.
You’ve forgotten some details since last time,
so we aren’t on the route we thought we were:
never reach the iron–age earthworks
I imagined us on top of, striding along.
It doesn’t seem so far-fetched to say
that one day people like us may blow up the world
with all its potential and beauty.
I don’t say that. The words stick in my throat.
We agree it doesn’t matter which way we take.
Now, I look back at you walking towards me,
your tartan scarf, your hair glinting in the winter light.

Sarah Barr writes poetry and fiction, teaches creative writing groups and leads a Dorset Stanza group. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies including The Mechanics’ Institute Review, The Interpreter’s House, collections from Templar Press and the Emma Press and in The Bridport Prize anthologies. Her poetry has won some competitions, including The Frogmore Prize 2015, The National Memory Day competition 2018, 2nd in Poetry on the Lake 2018 and placed in The Bridport Prize 2010 & 2016.