• Joanna Seldon

  • Your Story

    (Downsizing: December 2013)

    Your life in a lorry – 

    And our black panic

    Clambering over the past,

    The bagged detritus:

    Its indiscriminate maw

    Churning the jetsam,

    The now unloved

    Outmoded dark wood,

    Dark-stained duvets,

    Obsolescent videos,

    Which rolled and heaved

    Beneath us.  ‘Stop!’ you cried,

    As my scrabbling foot plunged

    In a chasm between cast-offs.

    But I couldn’t stop.

    Couldn’t stop myself 

    Weeping the loss of your past.

    The stories, the songs –


    ‘I’m Going to Cry’.

    Already crying.

    And letters: later you told me

    The loss – the one written back-

    Wards, so you had to read it

    In a mirror.  The ones from me

    You found, all of them,

    A plastic bag of mother-love,

    Pulled from oblivion.


    Curious to see a life

    Stuffed into carriers:

    Sainsburys – stories;

    Lidl – letters.

    Still the murdered words

    Churn inside the lorry,

    Chasm where the life

    Once told

    Tumbled, rolled,

    Its knell tolled

    Into oblivion.


    ‘Stop!’ you cried.

    And so the past

    Sinks deep into our dark.

    Close the van door.

    In my head I secrete

    All that I love.  Plunge

    Foot forward into

    Our future -