I thought I heard you last night
coming up the stairs;
your reassuring tread.

Dreamt I held you
in the rucks and pleats of bedsheets
you always pulled to your side.

I thought I saw you
in the faces of your children,
the quirks and ticks you’ve passed down.

I could pick out your face in a crowd of hundreds
Hear your voice in the racket of the market

Now life has become a double-take,
chasing the echoes of your ghost.

But last night by the open fire
I saw you in a different light:

Reading your thoughts in the smoke
hearing your voice in the chimney
Seeing your eyes in the wood knots
Keeping me warm through the winter.

Winston Plowes

Winston Plowes shares his floating home in Calderdale UK with his 16-year-old cat, Sausage. He teaches creative writing in schools and to local groups while she dreams of Mouseland. His latest collection Tales from the Tachograph was published jointly with Gaia Holmes in 2018 by Calder Valley Poetry.