what is missing

is touch — is cotton to wool, sheer
to slub
is holding hands

is hug — forms moulding each
to each, body to body
rise to hollow

what is missing is skin warm against
cool, is the cheek-scuff
of familiar stubble

is rough sunbrown finger tracing
delicate never-seen-daylight crease
what is missing is

the warm air of whisper in her ear — is folding
into the scent of him — is the long weight
of his arm

across her shoulders like a bracket ending



Jane Pearn lives in Selkirk, in the Scottish Borders. She was of the winners in the 2019 Guernsey International ‘Poems on the Move’ Competition, and recently came second in the Against the Grain poetry competition.