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Owen Gallagher: a poem



Assembling

Blackbirds


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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