Longlisted Poem 2013

Christian Benson

Scarborough Sixth Form College, Scarborough


It wasn’t made clear that I was
Supposed to call the nurse.  The
Lines and graphs on the screen
Began to change.  The curves

Started to flatten.  You moved in
Your bed and the machines began
To quicken, but I thought nothing:
It was all just numbers to me.

You would have heard the light
Scribbling of a pencil as I sat next to
You, writing you poems,.  I wrote of
The brandy we drank on the balcony –

A toast to the cars and street
Below.  I wrote of the trees outside
Where the sunlight danced with
The leaves.  I wrote of a world of

Love – our world – that shone out
Through the galaxies.  I wrote how
You would only read ‘Hamlet’ in the
Nude, the drunken promises we

Made but never kept and the bow tie I
Hung loose around your shirt.  Whilst I
Wrote, you slept as deeply as you did
That time on the lid of the grand piano

Back when we were young.

I like to think that I wrote during
That pause on the clock: that stillness
Between seconds:  between heartbeats.
Between one tick and the next:

Between the tick and the tock:
In wait for that coming chine:
In that moment before the clock
Begins to catch up on missed time.

So when I asked for the details the
Nurse showed me the screen’s flat line.
© Christian Benson

Project Details

  • Date February 5, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Longlisted Poems