• Kate Clarke

Brief Encounters

They won't remember me now,

those people who did a small thing

to nudge me towards a way out,

and a better way of living.

Dave Kett, who marked my final exam

three times to find an extra point

or two, just to get me through.

Katz had been his family name,

they Anglicised it after they fled.

He watched me sometimes

in class, pretending to be light-hearted.

I was making my escape

and I wouldn't waste that pass.

Before that there was Vicky,

a thug's wife who dressed like Hepburn.

John beat her something chronic

as they toured the bars of Brighton.

One night, in The Cricketers,

she spotted my reflection

in the mirror behind the optics.

She unhooked herself from John

and, heading for the juke box,

she grabbed my arm in passing.

Suddenly, she was lucid:

"Leave now, while you're young."

She never looked at me again.







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