The E was first to go, carried off by a bridesmaid
who staggered away with it in a bear hug,
quickly followed by the L tucked under the usher’s arm.
The remaining two stayed all morning, a warning
to any passing romantics, a source of puzzlement
to the elderly couple going for a wild swim
first hopping with pain over the sharp stones.
The pageboy and flower girl dragged O and V
apart to make a goal, the boy aiming shots,
hampered by his tight white shirt,
the girl pulling off her black taffeta frock,
the boy stripping to the waist. I don’t know
who first thought of throwing the letters
into Grasmere but I swear it wasn’t me.
The man with the Deliveroo pack on his back
and the Deliveroo official hoodie
which you’re not required to wear
but your kit will have to meet our
minimum safety requirements
is edging across the map,
hesitating by the Gas Works
taking a detour up East Parade
Ahh now he’s back on track
his tiny silver bike juddering
up Chestnut Avenue towards us
with our Wagamama order.
He reaches the door before
the cyclist on the App,
spills the sauce in the carrier,
drops the lid, is so sorry
I say it’s fine, watch him
sling his leg over the crossbar
and head into the night
carrying who knows what dreams
in his official backpack:
French irregular verbs,
the works of TS Eliot
the basics of nuclear fission
in his cool cordless headphones.
Carole Bromley lives in York, is a Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries. Three collections with Smith/Doorstop, a pamphlet with Calder Valley and, most recently, a collection The Peregrine Falcons of York Minster with Valley Press. Carole writes for children as well as adults and has won a number of prizes, including the Bridport and the Hamish Canham Award.