We are apologising to one another
for our shynesses. The waitress apologises
for the lack of sultanas (not like the picture,
she says). I still probe between slices of
apple as if I expect to find something other than
air. You spin the menu and pleat the paper napkin,
our cutlery scrapes eloquently enough.
On the train here a Canadian told me how
his province holds a lake the size of England.
I imagine you and I and Pizzaland, the green tables,
Doncaster, the fields, motorways, castles and fiats,
churches, factories, corner shops, pylons, Hinkley Point,
Lands End and all of us dropped
in this huge lake, plop.
Years later, new people will stroll on
the banks, remarking how in drought
you might see the top of Centrepoint
and in the strange stillness hear the ghostly
ring and clatter of Pizzaland forks on plates.
From The North No 4 (1988).