Go Between (another draft)

March 18, 2008

I met one of your teachers
just the other day –

the one with the name like gosling
soft feathers of baby birds –

corsage worn by bride or girl –
Mr Gossage – showed me to the room

where we were taught –
asked me how our mother was –

said he’d kept
the paper that you wrote

for years and years until
just recently –

perhaps it fell apart.

He’d always thought you’d
work in Academia – so I told him –

about your education,
your Oxford Don and

Doctorate winning thesis
something to do with

literary criticism
and Walter de la Mare.

You should know –

they hold your face,
somewhere safe in slanting boards:

a young man –
with a pipe,

a jacket patched with corduroy.

Mr Gosage said
he’d never known such a writer –

fifteen years – and already a rival.
Tell me about it
– I said.

I told him that
you’d never smoked.

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