You memorised the way from St Mark’s to Rialto,
trod so many times, rushing past masks and gloves,
the hidden haberdashery, the dead ends, Bassano
in the secret church, the French show with real doves,
mesmerised by magician. Wet days, names swam
in water on black stone and glass. Our faces you cut
from the family album one day, lost in your delirium,
white spaces where our sunken childhood had been.
You would recite the way: left at the Virgin Mary, right
at the school, left at the island for the dead, straight on,
straight on, to the bridges, dark water, and the night.
Philip Miller is a writer based in Edinburgh. His poems have been published in print and online, and he is the author of two books, The Blue Horse (2015) and All The Galaxies (2017). He has recently completed a third, The Hollow Tree.
He is a Robert Louis Stevenson Fellow for 2019.