Knowledge

When you penned your number,
the nib scratching away
ink willingly bleeding,
that napkin became a trophy.

Worried that it might be lost,
I stole a pen, three glances
and let the ink seep into my forearm.

I put the napkin somewhere safe.
Wait one year
you said.
One year, then pick up the phone

Grass limped into being,
grew tall under a glorious sun,
wilted beneath bitter winds
and drowned under cold snow.

Every day I stole another pen
and traced,
ever so delicately,
those eleven digits
long memorised.

Finally
as the spring grass stumbled
onto colourless parks,
a year had passed.

For the final time I wrote it down.
In the seconds before dialling
I checked the number,
then hit call.

It rang,
but no voice ever answered.
I cried,
and knew you’d lost to cancer.

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