Longlisted Poem 2014

Kathryn Cussons

St Paul’s Girls’ School, London

Waiting for News of Kitty

She refused to unlock the door
certain that the man in uniform
standing next to me was a doctor.
Speaking through the key hole
her voice faltered
like a long distance phone call.

I tried to tell her that
Mr Martin was the gas man
originally from Colwyn Bay
but she replied that working as an airhostess
in the 1950s had taught her not to trust
the things people say –

and anyhow she said
it wasn’t like it was easy to get there:
five foot four
that’s one inch too tall
and Kitty always said
I could have done more…

Mum, it’s raining I said
knocking on the door
as I watched Mr Martin turn
infinity signs on the patio
as he tried to say
he’d come back another time.

Tout va bien aller, ma chère
she called through the letter box.
Kitty always said that,
silly Kitty with her curls like Monroe
and a head packed
with the faces of famous men.

Silly girl, but there were some things you knew
Kitty, he named a boat after you.
A first class flirt
she always said hello.
Darling, why did she stop writing to me
a year ago?
© Kathryn Cussons

Project Details

  • Date February 10, 2015
  • Tags 2014 News - Longlisted Poems