Afterwards – by Carole Bromley

 

Make a fist for me, she says.
Now, push your heel against my hand.
Now pull my fingers towards you

How is it I forgot this
when I remembered the words,
Do you know where you are?

She tells me it’s so she can compare.
Afterwards. I had not thought,
really thought of afterwards

only of an end to the pain,
the way the ward is blurred,
the endless, endless nausea.

So matter of fact. Afterwards.
It isn’t logical but I want to say
My brain is a long way from my feet.

 

 

 

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Poetry Society’s Stanza rep. She has three collections with Smith/Doorstop, A Guided Tour of the Ice House, The Stonegate Devil and Blast Off! (for children aged 7-10). Carole runs poetry surgeries and recently became an Arvon tutor. This poem is about her experience of brain surgery earlier this year.

Red Kites at Harewood – by Carole Bromley

 

With beak and claw and ragged wing,
they own the Yorkshire air, riding
its currents, shrugging off cold winds that bring
leaves rattling and children pedalling
on Boxing Day bikes, and couples hiking
hand in gloved hand, not looking
up at where they tremble on taut string,

then stoop to snatch at carrion
or worms or sometimes a vole skittering
or a hedge sparrow foraging.
And now the low sun is dipping
behind the hill, trees are shivering,
oak, birch and beech, Storm Conor’s coming
and in their tops Red Kites are roosting.

 

 

 

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries for The Poetry Society. Two collections with Smith/Doorstop, the most recent being The Stonegate Devil which won the 2016 York Culture Award. A collection for children will be published in June 2017  www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk

Uncle Arnold – by Carole Bromley

 

He lived by the river. There were stepping stones
and a tabby cat that jumped across them
to greet me. We’d go fishing with jam jars
and pieces of string. We’d be out all day
till he called us in by banging a spoon on a tin.

Uncle Arnold made everything out of tins.
He seemed to choose them at random
from that stone shelf in his deep, inexhaustible pantry.
There had been an Aunt Isabel but that was before my time.
Maybe she had an opinion about the tins.

Of course it wasn’t like that. We never went there.
I only knew about Arnold from whisperings
before my dad took the train to Durham on Saturdays
and afterwards never told us where he’d been.

 

 

Carole Bromley lives in York where she is the Stanza rep and runs poetry surgeries for The Poetry Society. Two collections with Smith/Doorstop, the most recent being The Stonegate Devil which won the 2016 York Culture Award. A collection for children will be published in June 2017   www.carolebromleypoetry.co.uk