Southampton University – May 2020

Catherine Heath

May 2020

Cigarette smoke curling

Up towards the sky;

We never want

To say goodbye.

Antics in the mansion,

And bailiffs through the letterbox.

The police are looking for Harps,

As we answer the door,


Heavy metal 

Pounds through the towering hallway;

Money is exchanged for illicit goods

(Or council tax bills.)

Oh, how we ran,



How we wish

We’d stayed,

In the place we called home––

Westwood Mansion

Was a fun-filled place,

And we were

Brothers and sisters,

Partying our way down to hell.

No one wanted the real world.

It was about blending milkshakes,

Drawing silly pictures,

Making music,

And sunbathing by the street;

Just white trash

Occupying a former Edwardian hotel.

Gatherings on the common,

With conversation fluttering,


As we felt the grass

On our skin.

(I hope that I remember him).

Didn’t matter who was “in”;

Anyone who showed up 

Was given a chance to fit in––

Just as it should be.

We created each other,

Through talking,



Until you became my brothers––

All of you,

And we were best friends,

Through and through.

Tearing our hair out

At exam time;

Drowning our sorrows with booze,

As we laughed uproariously.

(No one called the doctor,

And we hid from the police;

They don't know what we need)––

We needed you,

And me. 

Avenue Campus

Was bursting with pretty ladies

Studying English,

Searching for Mr Right. 

I drank soup 

And glowered;

Looking for life,

And art, 

Everywhere at once––

And I found it

Just where I expected. 

Wherever you go,

Reach out to connect––

You’ll find that other souls

Are thirsty too;

Just give them time,

And a chance

To approach. 

Partying in Jesters

Where it smelled like vomit,

And the beer tasted of piss––

But we still miss

The sight of our friends

On a Wednesday evening,

With their arms round each other,

Jolly with camaraderie.

Not a care in the world;

Drinking from a shoe,

And fleeing from angry pimps.

Falling down the stairs,

As our legs gave way––

But somehow,

Everyone survived.

So we had to say goodbye;

But it’s goodbye,

And not “good day”. 

We’ll see each other again,

I say––

In the cement blocks of London,

Over the strange electric crackle of Zoom––

For we are all soulmates,

Linked for all time.

Best friends,

And brothers,

Through and through.

Credit: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash