Students, all women in our freshest years,
we settled on landings with mugs of tea,
never thought to lock our doors,
and, late into the night as Sweet Baby James
floated up the stairwell, we gossiped, fell out,
time -shared bedrooms for lover trysts.
Then she disappeared,
that girl of the fiery perm and Scouser sound.
We wondered in the silence.
Her space filled over
like a river after extreme rainfall.
I imagined her walking back after drinks at the Union,
in her silk halter neck and corduroy flares,
humming Joni Mitchell in her head,
caught in a clutch, dragged into a flowerbed,
calling for her Mum.
We stopped walking alone.
We avoided the garden. Then we forgot.
Maggie Mackay is a brave-hearted Scot and a final year MA Poetry student at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has work in various print and online publications, including A New Manchester Alphabet, Bare Fiction, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Prole, The Interpreter’s House, Indigo Dreams Publishing and Three Drops Press.