The Lost Tongue

Some said he had no tongue.
The words he spoke came through
his body. I watched him nod,
put up a thumb, flick his head,
shake a hand, shrug, and walk
fast as if his feet were on fire.

Not many people knew him
or maybe they didn’t want to know
him? Seeing as the tongue he had
was only used at mealtimes.
He had a dog that walked without
a lead. The two of them muttered

in early mornings. Reeling by hedges
black bins, recycling tubs, parked
cars, cats, garden gates and milk
left on doorsteps. He looked through
eyes that had cataracts and this made
him miss people he knew,

and they died without him knowing.



Gareth Culshaw lives in Wales. He had his first collection published, The Miner, by FutureCycle in 2018. He has been published in various places across the UK and USA.