Longlisted Poem 2011
St Paul’s Girls’ School, London
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
- Date January 15, 2015
- Tags 2011 Simplicity - Longlisted Poems