The fridge door wouldn’t close and the milk wouldn’t keep
so I learned to drink my tea black.
I stoke the range for encouragement
and dream of French bread hot and soft
I’d butter and eat as quick as you could bake them.

Maybe we should have just painted all the walls—
harebell blue, centaury pink, lady’s bedstraw yellow;
wild flower colours of spring in November

instead of this intolerable grey;
grey stones, grey walls, grey sky
over a grey sea,
sheets of rain pass from the Atlantic
and it’s five miles to town.

Whatever did we talk about in those days?
the quiet, the loneliness
the chance of aurora borealis

—or ghost conversations
and the recognisable plough from the half-door.