Near / Far Away

by Nick Garrard

Find someone who looks at you the way a drone pilot would.
People who live by the railway know a house is just
an assembly of stones waiting for the right train
to pass so close it shakes the walls and brings the roof inside.
In your life you can be loved precisely seven times
and never know; red-headed students and knock-kneed waiters,
conference attendees with rich inner lives,
all casting their eyes like fly reels into unrewarding waters.
Love was my father who screamed himself awake,
my mother who walked him to the narrow, yellow kitchen,
pressed him in the seat of a favourite chair
and tipped his head back until slow and silent,
tender as a faun, a wire-legged spider came crawling from his ear.