In a grubby green cardigan, he shelters with coffee
offers time to music, which is not to his taste.
The garden inside is a better sound.

A girl in apple-green stilettos staggers past.
Paints a running whiff of coffee
down his shoes. Her apple turns sour.

She barks at him. Mind out the bloody way!
Wipes her own loss and slumps, as far away
as the café allows.

Paintings line the wall, take my eyes
to green topiary, green conifers, green buds −
an escape to keep you alive.

Your cardigan will keep the leaves growing,
play your future, but steal my thoughts.
A mind empty, but full of green.

Stay in the warm old man. Green is safe here.
Your dangling threads can curl from cuffs
and soak up coffee. Catch the hour. Catch the years.

Hold that conifer and let it lift you,
walk those fields and charm the air. 
I’m here, you’re there and we are gathering green.

Meet the Poet!

Julie Stevens writes poems that cover many themes, but often engages with disability. She has two published pamphlets: Quicksand (Dreich 2020) and Balancing Act (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2021). Her next collection Step into the Dark will be published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press later this year.


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