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.
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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.