Tonight, my mother is reading my poem ‘The Rest’ on my behalf, at the Poetry Cafe in London. I’m long-distance thrilled!
‘The Rest’ was written while I was on Jo Bell’s wonderful course on personal archaeology – it’s a meditation on what we’ll leave behind, and it’s been shortlisted for the Holland Park Press ‘What’s Your History’ prize.
Here’s the poem:
Half a dozen fillings like recovered shot
dug from the skull. A greenstick fracture
healed like a bracelet, the pelvic inlet
somewhat wide. Surprisingly broad shoulders.
Two black hooks and eyes, each grip bent slightly
open. Zips. Nails. An unsoldered ring
of half crooked keys no longer rightly
aligned for locks. A pen leaking ink.
What cracked bits of me will last, which fickle
remains end up cupped in a stranger’s palm?
I’ll catch the reaching fingertips, tickle
the seeker’s attention, take hold their arm
and lead it to my ribcage. Show them
my heart’s slant space, how it beat out heaven.