Column 27

One of the pleasures of editing this column, is being able to share poems that I love. This one was published some time ago, but like all the best poetry it stands the test of time. The mix of the romantic (‘just me and the moon’) and the noir (a baby having a shot hard liquor) still gets me, as does the ending, which slyly condemns the lover for his self-obsession. It’s by Carole Bromley and it was the title poem from her second pamphlet; her latest collection is The Stonegate Devil. Both pamphlet and collection are published by Smith/Doorstop.


Just me and the moon, after all.
Beside me, you. Sleeping like a baby.
A baby who’s taken a swig from the nurse’s bottle,
a drag on a stub end he found in the ash-tray.
Spread-eagled, one knee raised.
You make sleep impossible.

Anyway how could I sleep tonight?
I lie in what’s left of the bed
like a jigsaw piece in the wrong puzzle
and watch the stars who don’t care
staring back from another millennium.
They’ve seen it all before.

Just me and the moon, after all.
He might be just a sliver of his former self
but he knows what he wants of me:
my faithful gaze, his own reflection
in my eyes that stare up at him
through the cold, uncurtained glass.


Used with kind permission of Carole Bromley and Smith/Doorstop.