Alison Trower

Empty Town

Like a necklace, the plane suddenly swung
Backwards as if on a string. Hung there.
The airport was a shed in a field. What wasn't
Attached to the ground paused like tickets to
An event. The people always waited for stuff here.
Always. Unless they were dead. In which case they
Partied with a kind of know-it-all assurance.
But they didn't know it all. Their gravestones
Read like short stupid books. And I laughed -
Once I had heard the end of the joke. Although
I didn't laugh at the punchline, instead
The beginning, which must have gone wrong.
The conclusion didn't work. It just
Hung in the air like a hangman's rope. Quiet.
As something swinging. Perhaps a signpost in an
Empty town. Empty of people who realised
Things anyhow. Because arrivals only happened
Elsewhere. Where they couldn't be thieved.
By waiting longtime, longfaced, for the finish of something.

Alison is a tireless poet, playwright, performance artist and painter who lives in London. Her last two plays have featured at the Edinburgh fringe.


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