There you are again at the far end of the empty beach,
scrambling over rocks beneath the abandoned nunnery

painted ice-cream green. Fleet as a greyhound,
tiny as a mote floating in the outer corner of my eye,

matted hair a billowing ghost of rain as the day
folds back into its rookery of clouds.

I’ve caught a glimpse of you before:
a shadow on the wall of empty streets

where silence sounds like noise. Barely noticed,
you stand among stagnant puddles

by the graffiti-etched door in a patina of winter light.
You bear a name you never asked for,

trace the history of longing in your veins,
your lost passions in the March wind.

At night you’re both salt and ash.
A low scream in the mirror of the moon.



Sue Hubbard is an award-winning poet, novelist and art critic. She has published 3 collections of poetry, two novels and a book of short stories. As the Poetry Society’s Public Art Poet she was responsible for London’s largest public art poem at Waterloo.  Sue Hubbard’s latest novel, Rainsongs, was published in January 2018 by Duckworth.  This poem is taken from her new collection, Swimming to Albania due from Salmon Press this spring.  Website: