The box arrived. The first books now being sent to the British Library. And, in the middle of it, a new poem published this morning in ‘International Times’ – the newspaper of resistance.
‘A Day at the Office’ – pre-election dossier.
It was, after all, a beautiful day.
Your hands, resting on the white tablecloth,
the lost sheep in a perfect desert with no compass.
You passed me the tea, I took the newspaper and
arranged my dress in a neat knot on my lap,
smiled and looked the sun in the eye.
The fresh air suffocated us.
The summer, gone.
‘Too much beauty’ I thought to say before I slowly placed the cup in front of me,
‘too much of you’
but I kept a symmetrical distance between my toes and yours.
I stood up and went to the other side of the room
to watch you watching the sea.
On the floor, the breakfast crumbs.
Memory of my passing.
I always arrive late for everything.
Stuck in a traffic jam by the docks,
missed Noah’s boat but
survived under water
accidentally trapped between stolen books,
trapped by a word heavier than a stone,
lighter than a feather.
Hidden in the overcrowded wooden train carriage,
radicalised by the anonymity of my blue name-tag,
with a heart growing outside my body.
Each beat painfully visible to the guards
around the Monopoly table.
On the waiting list for ballet lessons,
radicalised by the price of uranium bullets on Mother’s Day
handwriting an apologetic note.
My deep eye silenced.
The familiar solemnity of a world without a face.
Just before midnight, in the unpreventable moment
my mother woke up to give birth to me,
I jumped out and spilt her blood on the floor.
My first angry poem, scream at the top of my lungs,
in the pale room.
A dormant city blessed the muddy wreath above the cradle
asked me to keep the noise down.
Mother went back to bed.
The following day I learnt to
write on white walls with red letters.
Poetry reading: Maria Stadnicka reading the poem City from the collection Imperfect published by Yew Tree Press, 2017. Poem published in International Times, January 2017.
Music: Katie McCue
Video footage: World War One Archive