Painting the Old Room

covering fingerprints of bluetack,
teasplash, the smack of furniture
from moving in four years ago
when moving in felt like the
next step, when
this was new.

I have outgrown it.
I have left the room for you
spotless with
every smudge of me
blanked from the walls.
I leave the house and the keys
in the postbox.

The swifts are back.
They fleck and jag and
scar the air like black daggers.
They pass through.
They have miles to go.
They will clear the sky,
leave it unbroken,
as paint.

Phoebe Nicholson
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