CHALK FARM

Blaring elephants echo from the zoo.
Friday evenings as you cross the Square
I watch from the fourth floor, throw down
the key. We’re squashed into the side room

while my flatmate makes it with a violinist
just back from Prague and its brief spring.
She can get us freebies for the RFH,
acoustics crisp as sheets on a line.

Cheap folk nights in cork-lined rooms,
or a stroll up to Heath Street for a curry
over Primrose Hill where MacNeice heard
the trees felled at the start of the war.

‘Summer of love’ – that was last year.
You can see St Paul’s from here, clear as a bell.

In Brittle Bones
“Throw down the key” – our version of the balcony scene when you’re 4 floors up.