2021 Poetry Competition Winner: “Status Update” by Dominic Baur


The 8:59 service to     Bristol     is delayed

due to a fault

your fault     whispers your ex-wife

rain greases the brick walls of the platform

shimmering viral green

your colleague, no-platformed

cancelled train of thought

you’ll get there     eventually

wind funnels through the underpass

whistling     away the years

sooty rodent rustling a crisp packet

cafe closed     locked waiting room

chocolate mouse for your daughter

molten return     to her real house


The train calling at

your hairline circa 1992

the curve of your wife’s warm back

morning coffee in the marital bed

when green meant the treetop view

not long-lashed eyes     glimmering emerald

your wife’s storm-blue

is cancelled


A replacement bus     is in operation

one buss to seal your union

another     with another     signalling its end

and now the rest, cancelled

speech to replace debate

facts of life     are offensive


You turn     go home

to zoom without motion


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