Poem: This Heart by Geraldine Clarkson

This Heart

This cancelled cheque stub
This ruby nightdress,
flammable/

inflammable
This pack of spare Catherine wheels
This sack of reindeer antlers
dry to tinder—this pot of glue
This kindling
This old lover’s glove, stitched leather
This mechanical sunshine
This madly blossoming plum-tree.
This front parlour for aunts
back-biting while they sip Assam.
This coal mine, abandoned in 1979
This child’s trick cylinder
full of strangled cat-cries

This car-boot sale
This Montessori experiment
This poem begun again

This poem begun again
This hillock overlooking the Atlantic
in the evening, lambs blarting
This four-chambered castle, draughty,
time-shared—this pump—pimp
This pampered infant, stubborn-cheeked
This limping beggar
This heroine in a Grimms fairytale—
after she has lost her brother—
plaits matted, freckles blanched
This carrier-bag
stuffed with old calendars
These urgent messages


‘This Heart’ was first published in The Hippocrates Book of the Heart (Hippocrates Press, 2017) and a shorter version appeared on And Other Poems.


Geraldine Clarkson is a UK poet whose work has appeared in UK and international journals. She has three poetry chapbooks: Declare (Shearsman Books, 2016),  Dora Incites the Sea-Scribbler to Lament (smith | doorstop, 2016) and No. 25 (Shearsman Books, 2018).


Our JustGiving page is open for donations to the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund – no amount is too small if you feel moved to support.

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