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Sam Henley Smith: a poem

A familiar route I've researched it on the internet, how to brace my back between wall and chair my right leg slightly forward, knees pinioned fondly around your together-knees. It's my turn to raise you now Dad. British Red Cross has lent us the commode but, Covid-style, we are alone. I struggle, ease you to sitting, gently ease, gently please, then a pause for breath. Another breath. And if the Tamar Bridge could swing it would look just like your legs as its long limbs manoeuvred in parallel, perfectly paced, across the Devon river bed. The hooks of my arms are nestled in your pits. And lift. And pivot. And lower. Gently ease. Gently please. And breathe. And breathe.

This poem was commended at the Winchester Poetry Festival and appears in their anthology So we go about our days. Sam is a fifty-something bibliotherapist fortunate to live by the sea near Southampton, England. She has worked for over thirty years as a teacher and psychotherapist in various settings but is taking time out to reflect, and to invest in her own writing. She has poems published by or forthcoming in Ice Floe Press, Green Ink Poetry, The Best of the Folklore Prize and Anthropocene. Sam can be found tweeting here: @fictionprescri1.


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