Runner Up for the 2022 Grierson Verse Prize

Beth Grainger is a writer and PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. She writes and researches contemporary social justice poetry with a particular focus on the representation of working-class issues in UK poetry. She has had work published in journals such as From Arthurs Seat and Interpret Magazine.  

Connect with Beth

Twitter: @BethGrainger11

Putting it this way


I will leave a light on, just in case you might return

to yourself. Stand two feet into the hall of your own mind

as I raise a mug from the counter, having waited through the night

to find you here with heels in hand, leaning against the wall

in a chiffon dress drunk on the clutch and fizz of life.


I’ve left the latch off so that you might trip in

to your old voice, laugh bouncing in behind

on the bite and steam of the night air, so alive

the kitchen bends itself and lists from sight.


Just in the off chance you might lift

your head from your hands, fix me dead in the eyes

as I glimpse in the wimp and wink of the kitchen light

the muscles of your face piece themselves upright

so that they form the you I’ve lost, mum hang tight.