on a January morning
my heart climbs the 199 steps,
turns, takes a breath, and for seconds
is terraces and roof-tops, the swelling North Sea.
Inside St. Maryâ€™s Church, my heart
reads a notice,
Do not ask the staff where the grave
of Dracula is because there isnâ€™t one
and my heart smiles,
moving very slowly between pews,
looking for, but not finding,
a carved effigy of itself.
Instead, an offering and a candle
that stays lit even in the dayâ€™s sudden gusts
which blow inside and outside
my heart, to the abbey
where it settles at last,
in front of a statue of St Hild.
Â© Pam Thompson
Picture 10100950, photograph by Roger Mayne, circa 1960s, image copyright Mary Evans / Roger Mayne Archive
Pam Thompson is a poet, educator and writing tutor based in Leicester. She has been published in The Rialto, Mslexia, The North, Butcherâ€™s Dog, Poetry Salzburg, The Interpreterâ€™s House and Under the Radar among others. Her collections include The Japan Quiz (Redbeck Press, 2009) and Show Date and Time (Smith|Doorstop, 2006). Pam has a PhD in Creative Writing and her second collection, Strange Fashion, was recently published by Pindrop Press. Pam is a 2019 Hawthornden Fellow.