Laces caked in Edale clay

by Sarah L Dixon (thequietcompere.co.uk)

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Torches exhausted


heavy feet drag towards a lit door

we bundle around the fire

stripping saturated layers from damp backs.


Hats bobble on sturdy tables

measled flesh prickles as it heats,

wet clothes burn dry on too-hot radiators

I untie laces caked with Edale clay.

the aged wood of the pub creaks with complacency.

I ignore the pumps for seven local ales

and order mulled wine on tap.


Candles are lit.


Clacks and hisses as the kitchen wakes.

Beef with a mustard slash, gravy, roast spuds,

Tidgy puds, peas and carrots.


Rain beats its powerful lullaby

we are soothed by gales grasping the windows

sashaying around the mountain.

We tunnel deeper under old-fashioned throws

and flannelette sheets.


No duvets here. No Match of the Day. No Ten O'clock News.


Just last orders. A Talisker hot toddy.


(Published in Half Moon poems for pubs anthology, 2016)

Cover photo: Sid Balachandran

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