By Laura Potts
But then parts of you
are dead. I sent the world a postcard from a fusty
window that said
I am wearing my grief.
Sling clothes into the bin: your socks, your skirts,
the notebook in the pocket of the moth-eaten dress;
that locket – yes – the one etched with that lover’s name
you would never speak, but traced with warmer words
in the tepid curls
of firelight. Death in his Sunday finery asleep in the hall.
I call. Mother. Hear you still singing while washing
Now. Minds do many things. Canteen food garden gate
passing-bells rings. A wind slips beneath the door and
I hear you humming,
a voice swollen with the years of rolled-up sleeves
and tired eyes. The cries of a child at its mother’s knee.
I remember Wordsworth, Tennyson, Keats, dripping
from your tongue in a terminal bed. Mother, I said,
forty years from
the child in your arms. There are parts of you dead.
Bottle and Bible. Now this is pleasurable. Somewhere
on the other side of the night I am hearing you say
The fields are alive
when the moon is bowed. Your name is stirring
in the trees and is gone. No. Look what you’re doing.
Look at me now.
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