I’ve spent a few recent Mondays drinking cheap tea and making notes in a slightly sticky seafront café. There are windows to my left and right. I can look out to sea - and see a tide that is heaving and groaning, and like me seems to still be chewing over a recent conversation. I can look to my right and notice one yellowed globe among all the lights. I can look further inland and see a blue scaffolding net chopping in the wind. I can get lost for a while in the archipelago of rust on the serviette holder and realise a phrase like that will always have far too many syllables to work in haiku!
And then I can be surprised when a character from a haiku I wrote ten years ago walks through the door.
you fold my face in half
and slide me under the leg
of your wobbly chair
There she is – the folded woman from my photo. A scar stretched taut across her cheek – smoothed with flesh-coloured filler – but clear from ear to chin. One third of her portrait tucked back on itself. Once used to give a millimetre boost to someone who needed it.