Longlisted Poem 2011

Catherine Olver

St Paul’s Girls’ School, London

Grandma’s House

Cobwebs bind peeling paint
to the window-frames, trying
to sew them together again.

The house is an empty purse: full of spiders
that hatch in the eaves and dance along
their eight-legged pathways in the quiet.

In the spare rooms every bed is made.
On each bedside table, a lamp, a book,
a handkerchief embroidered with dust.
Tendrils and flowers climb away from the light.

The walls of the kitchen are lined with postcards
mapping the boundaries of the cupboards –
an island floats above the draining rack.

At perfectly-spaced intervals of table,
place-names as if for seven guests
mark out the continents of time

in an ocean of post-it notes.
Take pills at nine. Turn off the gas.
© Catherine Olver

Project Details

  • Date January 15, 2015
  • Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems