memory blends all
those long-haul flights into one;
quells at the dispiriting brightness
of airport terminals,
all mouth and trousers,
the bleak unwelcome of them
each time I emerge into another land.
where no one ever held up
a rough and ragged corrugated
cardboard sign with my name
marker-penned across it.
no one ever watched for me.
weary to my soul
and the prospect of framing questions,
asking directions, in a foreign tongue,
or wrangling with the car hire firm
for the deal they swore to on the phone,
before half-forgetting to drive
on the wrong side of the road.
arriving where time is different
and you can’t just adjust your watch
in order to fit into it.
I wonder always why I’ve come
and why I always have to go.