Sketch For Joanne

Sketch For Joanne

Joanne comes around with a radio and absinthe
We start the afternoon with Polish Xmas songs on shortwave
She laughs as we burn the first shot, the green flame

I love Joanne
We’ve been friends for 12 years
We used to be lovers but now a hug can be just a hug
I followed her from Derbyshire to London
She’s the sub-librarian, the swan feeder, spectacle breaker

I wanted to buy her a bicycle this Xmas but she said it was too much
She can close me down like I let no-one else do

We watch the green flame in the window
And it somehow makes me think of Amsterdam or Paris –
Rain beneath canal bridges in neon cafe light

The phone rings but it’s not for me
The answering machine catches it
And holds it and holds it and holds it


(Words – GA Johnson)