Friday, 13 July 2012

Nicky Ellam

Poems are music without guitars

They normally have titles 
but this simple song 
doesn't need one 
to describe

the waiting,
the clock's hands

the minutes feeling like years
as your last gasps of breath
rattle around the room. 

Time ticks slowly around my watch
as I remember our evenings together 
when I would sit close to you
reading aloud from your favourite books.

That was when I was younger 
and would write letters 
when I couldn't come
for an extra-sweet, extra-strong cuppa - 
the way we both used to drink it. 

That was before I started letting
an essay or party 
shove you to last in the queue 
falsely promising to visit
next week
next month
next never-ever
because there was always 
something more important to do. 

You're gone now.

We gave you flowers 
and had a post-service sandwich 
while they talked about you 
and told me I'd being given your stereo
because we both liked music - 

you, with your opera and trumpets
me, with my drums and rock-classics
but I'm too scared to use it

because I'm sorry 
I can't sing a happy tune for you. 

Nicky Ellam is an English undergraduate at Hull University. To her family's disappointment she has somewhat elusive career prospects. In her spare time she co-edits a printed zine called Eclectic Eel. Nicky has had work published by, Rain Dogs and Incandescent.