The Walking Cure. A poem by Peter Adair

Squeezed at the table
knee to knee,
faithful in a pew,
we await our priest
to guide our steps
to the café in Ards.

A hand on my shoulder.
The smell of onions
bubbling in the kitchen –
sweet as incense.
Our mugs leave circles
on the plastic cloth;

our words splutter
in the sweaty air:
United’s win,
snooker on TV,
a widowed father,
doctors, pills.

On the wall our daily
services are pinned:
Monday Dinner Club.
Bus Trip to Newcastle.
Come to the Movies!
The paper frays and falls.

Today, in the exhaustless
dawn, a blackbird’s
Today, miles apart,
we walk alone.


Peter Adair has been shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Award for New Writing. His poems have appeared in many journals. A poem is forthcoming in the Eyewear anthology ‘The Best British and Irish Poets 2019’. @slipperypawords

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