The Space Between


The hardest part of the horse to draw?
The length of his spine.
Pencil the line
too long or short and he’s a caricature,
neither horse nor pony
some half assed donkey.
Dent and groove of tendons and hocks ensure
we accurately map his legs.
The proportions of his head we gauge
with coordinates of ears and muzzle to reassure.
But from wither to hip this space
has no points of reference.

If the ten to doesn’t arrive till ten past
you’ll have eaten the last
crisp. Pushed back the skin eclipsing
half moons on your nails
answered your phone before it rings
and never let your upwards glance fall
from the neon dots on the departure board.
You’ll have counted the songs
fading out on your I-Pod.
Kept changing your mind if it’s long
enough to open your laptop.
But this time filling and second guessing
has done nothing to alter,

the hardest place in a day to be?
Adding nothing
to a benign space between.
So listening on a phone you find,
in the time
it takes for someone to say the words you’re expecting them to speak,
you’ve drawn a box round their telephone number,
started sketching a horse but gone no further
than tracing repeatedly
over and over
the features of his head.