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Paul Stephenson #quirkychristmas. Many thanks to everyone who joined in this series

The Guest

I’ll never know who he was,
the man that just sat there,

his face pressed into the head rest,
his beard a black avalanche.

He sat there in the way
piles of gravel do, delivered

to the beginning of a drive,
one ear folded like a landscape

Christmas card, one eye
a red foil bauble

dented from storage.
He sat in the glow of the lights

and we prodded him
with the fire poker, tickled

his nose with a strip
of gold tinsel. Nothing.

In the kitchen, cold meats, pickles.
Upstairs, choices to be made.

First published in Poetry News

Paul Stephenson was born and grew up in Cambridge. He studied modern languages and linguistics and then European Studies. His first pamphlet ‘Those People’ was a winner in the Poetry Business book and pamphlet competition judged by Billy Collins and published by Smith/Doorstop in May 2015. He works at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and currently lives between Paris and Cambridge. He has a diary/blog at http://www.paulstep.com

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