Escape by Sharon Phillips


Mid-November, damp: hands numb
in knitted mittens, wet tarmac blinking
red and gold, names in lights outside
the Odeon, blurry windows of a bus

and on its top deck a hand clearing
portholes in the glass. Come on,
you’ll get lost. You trotted to keep up,
past the queue outside the chip shop
and big men who bellowed mind out
as they shifted stacks of tea crates,
past Carwardine’s Cafe, till your mum
stopped at a gallery’s spotlit display:

a landscape on an easel, of a clearing
in a wood, the foliage rust and amber,
white pebbles on the bed of a stream.
Imagine walking off, into that picture,
she said, half to you, half to herself.


Sharon’s poems have been published online and in print; her poem ‘Epiphany’ was highly commended in the Bridport Prize (2019). She won the Borderlines Poetry Competition in 2017 and was among the winners of the Poetry Society Members’ Competition in November 2018. She lives in Otley, West Yorkshire.

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