I walk from Fartown to the station in St George’s
Square. Behind Yorkstone fronts & shuttered
shops, a pandemic’s alight: an invisible fire
they attempt to extinguish with oxygen.

Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s windows burn:
I imagine what’s behind them till I disembark
at Dewsbury for the first time. My phone wont
scan me out. I jump the barrier: the flashing cursor

steers my feet through cobbled streets still slickened
with frozen slush. I risk the viaduct’s short-cut,
spot our house – its looming conifer – can’t reach it
through the warrens of industrial dark.

On the disused bridge, above a crush of
rusting cars, I pause: a wail of ferals haunt
the scrapyard. Lost, I need you now to seek me out -
but I wanted to find my own way

home, to turn the key in our new, Victorian lock.
I raise my hood. Scarred cats scramble from the sleet
through gap-toothed doors, curling on the laps
of drivers’ seats & licking ice from their raw paws.

Kitty Donnelly