John Foggin #quirkychristmas

Cold comfort

You forget parties
spent behind a sofa
in a room so thick with smoke
you couldn’t see the sofa,
when you were one of the ones without a girl

the way you made do
with being thin and wearing black
and James-Dean-squinting through the smoke.
enigmatic dark and tragic
except that it was Orbison, except that it was
Only the Lonely, except that it was
When will I be loved,

but anyway, one Christmas night
behind a sofa and the girl you thought you’d brought
is somewhere else with someone else
in the swirly jazz-club smoke you picture
in your all-in-black and you really
love her because that’s what you do
and that’s what I did, then

which is why when she said
that someone-else had gone
and would I walk her home
then that’s what I did
because that’s what I did, then

and I knew it was four miles
and all up hill and hard snow underfoot

and air that hurt to breathe
and after all she held my hand
and I don’t remember a single thing we said
and the frost was brilliant
and I never even kissed her

and I didn’t even feel resentful
but walked the four miles home
and the fields at the top were glittery as glee
and the light turned up on its head
and the sky was orange-blue like the nimbus of a moon

there wasn’t a sound
there wasn’t a wind
there wasn’t a car
the street lights were out

and I think I have never been so cold


John Foggin helps to organise The Puzzle Hall Poets in Sowerby Bridge, and writes a weekly poetry blog:  the great fogginzo’s cobweb             

His poems have won first prizes in The Plough Poetry [2013] [2014] and the Camden/Lumen [2014] The Mclellan[2015] and Ilkley LitFest [2015] Competitions. One poem, Camera Obscura, was Highly Commended in the Forward Prize awards, and appears in The Forward Book of Poetry 2015.

His first two pamphlets, Running out of space and Backtracks, were published in early 2014 ,and a chapbook, Larach, was published by WardWood in December. 2014; it was recently reviewed by the Poetry Book Society.

5 thoughts on “John Foggin #quirkychristmas”

  1. What a fantastic poem – so glad I got to read it this morning. Some poems connect immediately – and this one did. So evocative, so real, and haven’t we all been there sometime in some way. It’s wonderful – thank you for this.

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