Poem by Mollie Davidson (UK)
Published in The Ofi Press issue 41
Poem selected by Alberto Blanco as part of the Ofi Press/ YPN collaboration competition
Image: "Dirty Street" by Luke Ratzlaff
New Year’s Day
There is no hurrah, and there are no fireworks
for those cleaning up the next day.
In that cold light there is the man
on the pavement in front of the nursery,
digging for muddied emeralds
but stumbling upon crackling bones.
On the other side,
he has been noticed,
the husband and the wife,
have just straightened
their burnt backs from work.
They see this man clearly.
He is the same as them.
“Outside the nursery or the pub?” the wife says.
“Always someone to be betrayed” her husband says.
“Dead body?” she says.
“Just glass” he says.
And in reaching for the black bin bag -
a cackling protest sellotaped to the wall -
their hands graze. They hold them tightly
together for a while.
And then let go and continue.