My poem, Priceless, has been shortlisted for the 2012 Bridport Prize.
I used to cross-stitch with Roger Moore.
He’d pull up an embroidered chair,
avoid the gold chick, long-stitched,
upper right-hand side. Instead
he’d perch, all dress shirt and tux,
at the edge, with a wooden frame,
thread magenta, cinnamon, aqua.
I taught him blackwork, Algerian eye.
We’d speak of ex-wives, agents, teas;
Priceless, he’d mutter, skipping a stitch,
then start humming: always Shirley.
His favourite designs? Flowers,
back-filled English summers;
young Roger, one of the chaps,
chaining daisies on the sly.
This is the second time that my name has appeared on the Bridport Prize 'long shortlist'; the first time was in 2009, with Coffee with an Ex.
This photo was taken by Chris, from a boat near Tobermory, in 2007.