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Owen Gallagher: a poem



After a day on the assembly line

my fingers stalk the black

and white keys, a conveyer belt

of minims and crotchets

that rhyme and chime with myself.

I play till I'm exhausted

and wake to stand again,

at my allotted slot

and compose in my head

to keep the blackbirds

singing at full throttle,

jostling for a place,

before the factory horn blasts

them clean off the stave.

Owen Gallagher is the author of four poetry collections (you can find them here); the most recent being Clydebuilt, published by Smokestack books in 2019. The Sikh Snowman, a children’s picture book, was published by Culture Matters in 2020 and his poem "Straight Up" was a Guardian poem of the week.


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