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Two new poems.

By LAURA POTTS.

.

But then parts of you


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;
……………………pearls, perfume,

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
……………………...the dishes.

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.
……………………See,

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. Look what you're doing.

Look at me now.

.

After Emmeline

Stars apart, remember in the dark hours of your heart
that from her labour to her last her anger-black had
smashed the glass; that, history in her fist, she passed
the baton and the blast; that as, today, you make that
mark upon the far tomorrow know that living on is she.
No longer to breathe but to be. Never the word but the deed.


Laura Potts lives in West Yorkshire. Twice-recipient of the Foyle Young Poets Award, her work has been published by Aesthetica, The Moth and The Poetry Business. Having worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura Potts was nominated for The Pushcart Prize and became one of the BBC’s New Voices last year. Her first BBC radio drama aired at Christmas. She received The Mother’s Milk Writing Prize and a commendation from The Poetry Society in 2018. Her previous work in the Fortnightly is indexed here.


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