Longlisted Poem 2013

Ellen Macpherson

Fettes College, Edinburgh

Filed Mind

In the beginning, there was knowledge,
an abstract awful little fact,
to be tucked away, tidy, and stored
in the filing cabinet of Memory,
when yet there was a key.

Statistics stuck easy to the surface
of Mind, conscious of itself,
like crumbs stuck on jam.
Dry as dust, but a comfort,
the irony was not lost, not

yet.  Stale crusts.  Diaries and dates were
the shut-click metal binder of a file,
family favourite, labelled day-to-day life.
Reminders.  Dancing recitals, dentist
trips, an appointment kept quiet.

But the tap, screwed loose… loose, too loose,
dripped and dripped and dripped. Disease.
Tick.  A wallet soaked through.
Tick.  Chain without key.
Tick.  Unfamiliar familiar.

Daughter’s coarse grimace –
Son’s glance of concern –
when it was dessert for dinner
and linen in the fridge.
Blood rushed to face.  Respect flushed away.

Tick.  Wind up the
Clock.  Tick.  Quick wind it up.
Tick.  Wind up what.

The drip was a gush.  Everything sodden.

The details were …


I think I’ve forgotten.
© Ellen Macpherson

Project Details

  • Date January 16, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Longlisted Poems