Moray Sanders’ ‘In my father’s pocket’ is February’s Pick of the Month

Pick of the Month time and February’s choice is ‘In my father’s pocket’ from Moray Sanders. Moray has written prose with the support of Creative Future for some years; through them she then won a mentoring opportunity with New Writing South and has been working with Vanessa Gebbie, who encouraged her to write poetry. This is her first poem, and first open submission, and ‘the spareness, and the ache’, as Vanessa puts it, struck a chord with many of you.


In my father’s pocket

Feel that square of paper
in your jacket pocket
next to your heart.
Unfold it.
Hold it out if you need to.

“This is my father.
He is loved,
not lost.
Please bring him home and
when you have read this,
put the paper back
in his pocket
where he can feel it
next to his heart.

He is loved.
Not lost.
Thank you.”


Voters’ comments included:

I loved how much feeling and narrative was packed into this spare, beautiful poem

What a wonderful first poem. It tells such a sad familiar story in such a spare, heartfelt way, full of love. What a lot to get into just a few short lines.

I feel I can relate to this in my own way. I can put a story, well life event, into this poem so it I feel the words.

Beautifully crafted and fleetingly precise.

I like the gentle beauty of the poem and the quiet sadness…

Me and my daughter both read this poem and she picked this as her favorite. Maybe because she doesn’t see her dad very often as he is in the army.

Poignant in its simplicity.

It is spare, understated and very moving. The word count belies the strength.

It connects with me as I lost my father as he committed suicide and I never knew him. The poem is uplifting and hopeful.

Moray is so economical with her words yet we understand the loss, feel the emotion, and hope for the future. Paradoxically we want more words, an explanation, an outcome – well a happy ending don’t we?

So true to life. My husband has Alzheimer‘s disease and carries a piece of paper with his details in case he gets lost. This poem really moved me.

In my opinion this piece is a tender and clever exploration of love and loss in its many forms and layers. Quite apart from the deep, profound love that one may feel towards an elderly parent, this poem hints at multi-generational accretion of love… This poem has the weight and feel of a modern classic.

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