Open 11am to 8pm
Royal Festival Hall (Level 5), Southbank Centre, LondonOpen Tuesday - Sunday from 11am to 8pm
British Haiku Society. Artwork by Helen Robinson
Two soft packets of Marlboro on the sideboard
and she knew he’d arrived.
She lit one, moved to the table
and saw SURPRISE written in spilt sugar.
She couldn’t help thinking of flies.
He was in bed for certain, waiting for her
to join him in pseudo-sleep.
Thinking of his mouth, she almost went upstairs,
but telephoned her sister
and arranged to meet in a Tapas bar.
She added D and a question mark
to his greeting on the table,
picked up his cigarettes
and left the front door open.
At the corner shop on Union Street,
I dosey-doe around a man my age
who’s just popped out for milk.
He scoots back to his door and opens up.
That serrated sound – the house key going home,
the scrappy jangle of the others on the fob –
is how it was when my door opened to another hand.
I would have been behind him with the fish and chips,
some shopping; finishing a phone call as he let us in.
He would push the door closed with one foot,
step unlooking to the kitchen and the coat hook,
throw the keys onto the side.
There’s the lover’s jingle, there’s the key
that opens a house and clicks it into occupancy.