I try not to panic, when she tells me
about my strong aura, how pink it is
against the gallery wall in the sun,
that I walk with spirits, one tall, one busty.
This couldn’t happen where I come from
because she’d be mad, and I would run
like anyone born at England’s edge
where the dead drown and we leave them
but this is Wakefield, built inland on barley.
The woman is sane in the same way
a good librarian is sane, with a sheer
commitment to fact. I have to ask
if they’re always here, Busty and Lanky,
when they might leave and whether I’ve trod
on their toes, or if I should feed them.
She says they’re happy and here beside me
in Gallery 6, where objects insist
we hold them, though we cannot,
and my favourite is ‘Landscape Sculpture’
because it shows the strings that connect us.