Sevenoaks Graffiti, by John Arnold

This poem by member John Arnold was selected for our 2020 Folio # 74.

Sevenoaks Graffiti

It had all gone awry…
Down the street, I stopped
to refuel and have a piss.

The graffiti above the urinal told me:
There’s nothing for you here in Sevenoaks.
Leave now!
So I took the A21,

drove south on autopilot
down the length of a late summer’s evening,
till road ran out – as always – in Hastings:

its cliffs, its flint-faced cottages,
its tubby fishing boats, its gentle sea
basked in a dwindling light.

I bought fish and chips and a Coke,
without being sneered at, shunned
or turned away;

and knew at once that somewhere
in this achingly beautiful world
was a place I would not have to leave.

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