Sam Hickford




The Dulcimer-girls (for Coleridge)
(Oh, and the Dulcimer-boys)

they’re the ones making the bloody noise
banging on those lovely instruments
on an Autumn night at 3 A.M
and it’s so nice – and, yes, I guess it’s Leeds –
but I’d really rather like to sleep.
Though each resonant, softly-stricken sound
bothers me in euphony. But, now,
Oh my god, it is the Dulcimen
banging on those strings as they upend
Becks-cans outside of “Abyssinia”
olay-ing as the streets grow tinnier.
I suppose it’s nice! It brings back memories
of harmonies heard far away from Leeds,
fragrances carried by the cyclamen.
I definitely can’t get up again
but there’s a pleasure to this heightened state
and thoughts cohere, exactly, when it’s late.
The lesson? We might have to give up sleep
making each day a dreadful-darling dream
like a dulcimer (!) way out of tune
but still a dulcimer: a flower in bloom
quite nervously. But if I hear a sound again
I swear to God I’ll fucking kill those men.



Sam Hickford is a freelance writer and poet. He has written for British publications like The Guardian and The Tablet: his contributor page for The Guardian can be found here.

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