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Sue Finch: a poem


Silence stands in the hallway all night

says she doesn't need to sleep.

In the morning she is in the chair


Sometimes she smiles

and I think she gave me the dream

about meeting Dolly Parton for the soundcheck.

Sometimes she is so aloof

I imagine she sent me the handless mob

lumbering towards me,

bloodied boxing gloves

where fingers should have been.

She has birdsong in her

sends the call of a bittern

to make me laugh

after she has taken me to the darkest silence.

Once she tapped me on the shoulder

at 3 a.m., handed me the car keys

got in the car with me

and directed me to a forest.

She took me over a stile

to the darkened path

where we could not see our feet

and the bumps and gnarls of roots

sat under the mud.

Before my eyes adjusted

she stopped me

stood with me

to hear the last owl

and the first blackbird.

Once she wrote me a note

folded it and put my name on it

so she could watch me open it

and read.

I am your shadow, it said

in a spidery hand.

Her drawings tattooed the page –

a tarnished axe,

a holly bush, all its leaves on the ground,

and a coffin.

Sue Finch lives with her wife in North Wales. Her first collection will be published in Autumn 2020 with Black Eyes Publishing UK. Her Twitter link is @soopoftheday.

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