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:

 

The Rest

 

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.

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