Poem of the Week: September 1st, 2015

Emma Lister is a winner of Foyle Young Poets 2013 and the National Trust’s first under-sixteens poetry competition in 2011. More of her work is forthcoming in The Blue Pencil Online. “Home is in the Wind” was originally published in Volume 3, Issue 1 of burntdistrict.

By Emma Lister

I ask myself only this each greying morning:
are you pure yet? Usually the answer is:
it’s a no from me. But like they all say, before I get there
there’s no way I’m leaving.

Yet I’m not like those talent-show never-gos –
I don’t cry, just clench my jaw
and concentrate to disappear beneath
the fine coffee-mug ring of instant, true-fold grit
that circles daily further round this life.

That means nothing much but I’m going to try again.
I smoke and smoke and wash my hair in ash.

[Give me the valley of an actress’s beach hipbones,
the love of my grudging mother,
a white ward light I can vanish underneath.]

But the nights get more boring the less I sleep.
Under the moon it resolves itself to me:
I want to be feather-light. I’ve got
a lot of hope for this.
Need to be crescent slight.

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