by Richie McCaffery

He collected postcards, old ones,
particularly from places bombed
or bulldozed, where street names
were just the hearsay of ghosts,
their stamps colourful shibboleths.
He’d vanish for days with no word
in search of those lost addresses.
Nowadays we wait for postcards
he sends second-class from the night.
They always say wish you were here.

Richie McCaffery is from the small Northumbrian village of Warkworth. He now lives in Alnwick, Northumberland after four years spent abroad in Belgium. He studied English and Scottish Literature at Stirling University and received a Carnegie grant to do a PhD on the Scottish poetry of World War Two at the University of Glasgow, which he was awarded in 2016.

He is the author of two poetry pamphlets: Spinning Plates from HappenStance Press and Ballast Flint from Cromarty Arts Trust and two full poetry collections, Cairn and Passport, both from Nine Arches Press.

This poem was first published in Issue 24, the rest of which can be read in our Archive.