Joy Winkler

She Watches

waits for him to come home;
the boy who’s framed forever young
in chipped stucco, looking for all the world
like Little Boy Blue. She needs him to hold
a new skein of wool, thumbs hooked over
then lifted at each round’s turn.

She watches geese tack stitches onto the sky.
Is this the day he comes? A single seagull
flies offline, plays Bagatelle with clouds.
The boy in the picture sighs, longs for
the freedom of sheep in the meadow
the cow in the corn.

Grey wool hugs her grey arms. Starlings
flock, wheel, bank, fork. She’s sure
it’s today he’ll come, whistling and smiling,
a shy peck on her cheek as young lads do.

The boy in the picture fingers a hole
in his jersey, dropped stitches, a slow
unravelling. Pigeons bank, coo, whiten
against dusk. Her knitting drops to the floor,
on the wireless Big Ben strikes the hour.

Joy Winkler is a poet, writer and creative writing workshop facilitator who has worked with several community groups in the North West. She was Writer in Residence in HMP Styal and Cheshire Poet Laureate in 2005. Joy has several collections in print, most recently ‘Stolen Rowan Berries’ and ‘Wings, Planes and Weather Vanes’. She recently wrote, appeared in and toured a piece for theatre called ‘Lightning under their Skirts’ and is currently Writer in Residence at Tatton Park.