The Rain in Rouen

It’s different on holiday: patchwork of quaint cobbles,

colours of Monet’s Garden, framed by sun.

You don’t notice grey flowers, slipping on wet stone.


Four years there; she swirls the city’s vowels

round her mouth like vin rouge but can’t roll them out right,

any more than she can roll a Rizla.


Instead, she puffs a thin Gitane, tries to look chic

as she sips café noir on the brasserie pavement splashed

by a culture she can only borrow.


(From ’Into the Yell’, Circaidy Gregory Press 2010)