Beth McDonough




Check you, on my doorstep, loaded

with one bam-on-the-glass headbanger wasp.
You’re offering me sharp glimpses of glint,
that dropped tumbler’s unswept-up chip.
How it grins from the grout between tiles.

There you are, crazy among the slowed-motion,
dust moted polka. Yes, comforting all
who sat out that dance. Happy to settle
on the on-the-shelf pot, gone tottery right at the rim.

But your handover confirms
a known culprit’s prints. Wax-slapped wee hands
Hitherto invisible, lost on the glass,
now pushing doors open between outside and in.

Yesterday, when you suggested that swim,
I was tempted to lurk over-long in the firth.
Yes. I accepted. Shuddered the consequences.
And of course, I’ll do it again.

For your gifts appear naughty in bright beams,
arrive jumping with dolphins.
The first of this year.
Come in, armed messenger. Come in.




Beth McDonough’s poetry appears in Causeway, Agenda and elsewhere; she reviews in DURA. Handfast (2016, with Ruth Aylett) explores family experiences of dementia and autism. A pamphlet is coming…










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