You lift our new daughter from the car
as I place the bags down and shout
for the boys. Our neighbour is already
upon you, leaving her garden
to fend for itself in the excitement.
And I watch the three of you from the window
seeing you wipe away a tear as you
speak her name out loud in the hope
that passing clouds will deliver
all the wishes you secretly made
and the sound of birds will remind you
of this day. The boys race to your side;
too young to hold me to account
with all the promises I ever made.

David Coldwell


Homecoming from David’s forthcoming collection, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice.

The Poetry Village will open for submissions again in March 2020. Follow us on social media to find out more.




Paul Vaughan

Ping Pong in the Afternoon

I see her on the Northern Line.
Knees clasped tight
she looks through me,
handles of table tennis bats
poking out of her handbag.

Later I hear her.
My office window open,
I type letters
to anonymous businessmen
click click click
across the way
she works harder
with slap! of ping pong bat
on middle aged buttocks
that whips my ears
slap slap slap.

I hear the men,
imagine eyes screwed tight, lips twisted
head shoved hard into pillow
ping pong bat rising and falling
slap slap slap on fat pink cheeks.
I click click click.

After work we gather and
she has a gin and tonic.
I talk shop with colleagues
pretending not to watch her
trying not to stare at
handles of table tennis bats
poking out of her handbag.


Paul Vaughan lives in Yorkshire with two cats and a wine-rack. His poems have appeared in Agenda, Acumen, Poetry Salzburg, Prole, Frogmore Papers, Obsessed with Pipework, Ink, Sweat & Tears and other places. Chief Editor of Algebra of Owls. Debut pamphlet due out in 2019.