Ten Excuses for Not Phoning

(after Warsan Shire)

1) Because the gaps are bigger than the words either side.

2) Because the surface is so slippery.

3) Because you once said the adverts were more interesting than the programmes.

4) Because I can never be sure you will answer.

5) Because there is always somebody at your door.

6) Because you never say her name.

7) Because I am too afraid to ask the questions.

8) Because there is stuff hidden in your attic.

9) Because of the lies we told and the lies we tell ourselves.

10) Because of those games we used to play.

(from The Telling, Julia Webb, Nine Arches Press, 2022)