September

By: 

Ella

McLeod

I wrote this poem as an unemployed graduate, inspired by the anxiety of that back to school month rolling round once more. The freedom from the institution I'd fought for so desperately was bitter sweet and as the nights lengthened, the days shortened and the temperature dropped I found myself wholly unprepared for the winter before me. But it was ok. Because I had my London.

Was I better when I
lingered-
let panic run metallic over my
tastebuds,
let London go quiet in my neck
and swallowed it whole
Digesting every yelled profanity and tire squeal of my city
and
getting litter under my fingernails?
I’m not sure how I’m supposed to react to things most of the time
find fraud in the frown lines
stretched taut with hanging knickers and
rusty pegs but
when I’m itchy I am most my myself
restless in the too hot room at night;
our too hot dark.
I do try to be honest and happy together
but I think it’s easier to
smell the ammonia in the
stairwell and
feel the furry uncertainty of a
distorted mirror reflection
that is inconstant when I press
it against
the rippling pads of my
fingers,
knowing that most mundanities
can also be read as
something more
alarming.

More from Poems

Heathrow Airport Toilets

HOW TO BREATHE

This poem was written during lockdown last year. I am lucky to have my local park, Hilly Fields, opposite my...

Moments

Moments of connection were so precious and effort was made with a simple smile in unexpected places and from people...

Become a Member

Our Members are champions of literature. Their support makes our engagement work in schools and prisons possible and they enable us to celebrate literature in all its wonderful diversity. As a thank you, we give them all the joys of a literary festival and book club rolled into one, all year round.