By Lucy Thynne
The day after your father left you mid-sentence,
you became a halfway thing
and there was nothing left to say.
It happened the way dreams rush out
of you all at once when you wake, too quick to remember, too unexpected to throw your fall.
Your world became a kind of underwater quietness. I once saw a woman
with no face begging, and I couldn’t tell you how much I’d wanted to cover my eyes –
with the shame now of this, where I wish I was seeing you blind, that we could speak
through what is never really speaking. A squeeze of palms, a do you remember when?
Do you remember when we played in the attic, disappearing into a story before night fell?
Were these the stories your father handed to you, and you handed back to us?
We were never ourselves in those games I don’t think we ever thought about
how to write that sadness down. Outside, there is a wind that cries like a woman drowning,
or praying, or maybe both, and I watch as your head rattles in time with it, pressed against
the glass of the evening train, taking in the sun and the hills and the blue of it.
LUCY THYNNE is studying English at Somerville College. A previous winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year and the Young Romantics Prize, her work has also been recognised by the BBC, the Forward Arts Foundation and Oxford’s own poetry publication, ASH. She has read at Ledbury Poetry Festival and will be reading at Oxford Literary Festival in April.
Art by Isabella Lill