Starting Over in Elgin
This was all I could expect today: a cold light
draping my shoulders in the small hours
as I left my flat on Greyfriars. Alleys and side
streets deep-rooted to a solitude I never shake,
like the women I do, names I barely recall now--
the latest a widow up north in Lossiemouth.
I ambled down North Port, where months ago
I’d bet my last horse. On to the town center,
a High Street newsagent, shoppers whose faces I hid
among before taking to the bar at White Horse Inn,
to join my small crowd riding the crest of their laughter.
The barkeep’s a wary optimist, her barometer always
reading fair, even when she shows the last man
out the door, which might’ve been me this evening.
So here I am, at the eleventh bell, reversing
my route home, a withering routine you’d think
varies as little as a dancer in a glitter dome. This late
at night, going home is easy. And look: a young
woman I’ve never seen gazes from where she leans
against an open window above a shuttered jeweler.
The soft music from her radio could sure
make someone dream of kissing tonight.
About the author:
Jeffrey Alfier won the 2014 Kithara Book Prize for his poetry collection, Idyll for a Vanishing River (Glass Lyre Press, 2013). He is also author The Storm Petrel – Ireland Poems (Grayson Books, 2014). His work has appeared recently in Spoon River Poetry Review, Poetry Ireland Review, and The MacGuffin.