I walk out of the ticket hall, my mouth
dry, the taste of sleep like cotton on
my tongue. The buildings are the colour
of a field of wheat, the morning haze
is light blue on a corridor of light.
And I have no idea yet what it’s like
to climb up from a metro station to
the windswept plateau of Les Invalides
and find my father sitting with his back
to me, his elbow on the upright handle
of his travel case; no clue I’ll meet
a joyful, mystifying barrier of grief,
a sudden, unexpected urge to pause
and still be on the way to meeting him.
William Thompson is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol. His poems have been published in Lighthouse, Ink Sweat & Tears, The Cannon's Mouth, Selcouth Station and Passengers. He has work forthcoming in The Best New British and Irish Poets 2020.