Ross Thompson, Ciphers


In the sunlit supermarket car park
I spotted a glove that someone had dropped:
a faux leather skin flensed from its wearer,
sadly neglected without a partner.

I did not take it to the lost and found.
Instead, I left it lying on the ground.

That night, I worried about its owner,
with one freezing hand fumbling through winter,
fingers turning blue as he cursed his luck
and whoever noticed his errant glove

and did not have the grace to pick it up.


Slumbering in the gutter beneath a shop front
of artificial Christmas trees and gold bold font

that reads HOME, curled semi-foetal, bent like elbows
in gift-wrapped sleeping bags on the very threshold

of plain sight, tainted from the transgress of turning
invisible, these nameless phantoms, unburdened

of the pressure of the daily grind but shackled
to an ongoing hunt for shelter, are battled

by the elements and scalding judgement
of poor Samaritans rushing by recumbent

strangers, tucked up on their sides or flat on their backs,
unseen by the world as they slip between dark cracks.

Snow Day

The cold weather returned with a vengeance.

Overnight, icicles dreamt into life,
singing faintly on gables and branches:
a quiet symphony of halted light.

Our whole world just stopped, as if God’s own clock
had broken. We were gifted a day off,
the sweetness of a long lie, and forgot
taunting motorways, then breathed air that caught

the back of the throat. Some foolhardy souls
soldiered up sloped driveways, struggling with sacks
of salt, but abandoned their cars on roads
banked with snow where they could not read the tracks.

Safe at home, we wished it could last all year
but wishes, like snow, always disappear.

Ross Thompson is a poet from Bangor, County Down. His debut collection Threading The Light was published by Dedalus Press in October this year, and his work features in a number of other journals alongside being used on radio and television.

Dodging The Rain does not own the image used to illustrate this post; we credit Bansky, who does.

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