{poem} The Visitor


My grandma was telling me about her alien visitor, over tea. She said he came in a submarine.

Apparently it’s a good disguise less obvious than a spaceship flashing lights across the skies.

She said: he liked jam and bread and the flowers in her garden. I thought she must be confused.

Mixing up reality and TV shows – as she often does.

She said she was tired but nobody slept where he was from. There’s no night, days are long.

No-one is ever alone.

She smiled sweetly and nodded like it sounded a greater place to be – than here. I worried then. What did she mean?

She said: “he’s coming back soon to take me up there (she pointed) beyond the moon, where you can dance on stars.

I used to dance”, she said. She became wistful then. Drifting away into her past for a while. She hummed a little of her favourite tune.

Embarrassed, I said: “I have to go soon.” She nodded, eyes closed “He’s here” – a whisper. I kissed her forehead and said goodbye.

As I left her sitting in the chair I hoped he had returned.

I wished with all my heart that they were now, somewhere, far away and dancing amongst the stars.

by Elizabeth Haley-Wood


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