for Ruth H.

Tonight there were lights on the other hill,
the pavement glittered ice, middle-aged women
ran in breathable, high vis, streamlined sportswear,
snatching breath between snatches of conversation,
the cash machines blinked, there was nobody
at the bus stops, even the supermarket car park
was empty, there was the moon of course,
a star or two, and there were planes in the sky—
some taking off, some touching down—trees were bare,
curtains were open to well-lit living rooms
where the obligatory plasma hung on the wall,
the workaday, worked to the bone, slumped on the couch,
taxi drivers waited by the side of the road
under streetlights that flickered and burned and buzzed.