Maggie Sawkins

Date Unknown

I will walk up a path
policed by poplars
the sky will be cloudless and blue.


In my hand an empty suitcase
scented with lavender,


A patient will skitter past
in raincoat and scarlet slippers
and I’ll tip my head.


In front of a circle of lawn
and gothic fountain
will be a redbrick building


that could be a mansion but isn’t.


She’ll be leaning against
a glass doorway
with lightness in her hair


like a girl from a Hopper painting,
except she is smiling.


I will walk towards her,
take her bundle of clothes,
unbuckle her hands.


A doctor will appear
as if from nowhere to wish
her well.


As we turn to go faces will stare
from darkened windows,
flowers will curtsey


trees uproot themselves
sprout wings
and fly.

Maggie Sawkins
“Date Unknown” first appeared in Magma Poetry, vol. 28, 2004.