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The Ghost-Bike

Still and bitter night, our first week in this town
we hurry home along the towpath, huddled close

for warmth. Lamp-glow through the frosted branches,
cokey smoke of houseboats mingling with the vapour

on our breath, shawls of fog that hover on the oil-black water.
Its then we see it, glowing through the mist: a spectral sculpture

propped against a tree. Wreathed in hoary moss and riverweed,
snapped twigs now icicles amid its spokes, sheathed

utterly in ice. And as we pass we cant stop looking back,
as if, unprompted, we recognise our tangled pasts

have gathered there, have ossified behind us as we scurry on,
our first week in this town, laughing through the cold.

André Mangeot is a poet, short-story writer and novelist. His third poetry collection, “Blood Rain”, will be published by Seren early next year.

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