By Laura Potts

 

I remember it best as burnt lips and black

that night when the mouth of the house spat

you and your terminal news out to the stars

and back. Before the last evening hours

had passed, flame yielding life to the ember,

the crack of your ash called a duskdark September

too soon to its spring. It was the summer to never

remember. Robin, that radio screamed all the night

like your ambulance light living on and tight

was my wren-clenched flesh, was the glut

in my throat for you, lost-light bird never cut

from the cage. The age that was yours was the loudest

and long, but that old August day blew its dust

far on past those bones growing epigraph-grey:

a memento that death is just one storm away.

These days, one more last-light life blown out,

the heart in my body beats that much more loud.

Oh gallow-bound you with the ballroom grin,

for each crowd at your feet another rose out in

a mutual call, a language too dark for the masses

at all. That fall from the world, as springtime passes

its breath to the last, was the black blacker blackest

that my past has carried. After that passage, dusk folded

and wearied away, I stood at the gate summer-coated

to wait, watching your far-flaming ghostlight fade.

You never doubted the fire that flared, that made

you a light living on in that night. While bone-body dies

and we look to the stars bygone-bright in your eyes,

know only your laughter lit hearthstone and home.

Know yours is the name never lost from the stone.

Laura Potts is twenty-two years old and lives in West Yorkshire, England. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has appeared in Agenda, Prole and Poetry Salzburg Review. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura was last year listed in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She also became one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets and a BBC New Voice for 2017. Laura’s first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas, and she received a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018

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