On the launch day of ‘Waiting for Bluebeard’ an offering from its author and our editor Helen Ivory


My Two Fathers


When my father removes his skin
he steps to one side and tidies
the old skin away with a dustpan and brush.

He wants nothing more
than not to make a spectacle
but my mother insists he fill it with stones.

The stone father is anchored
to the armchair, while the other
goes upstairs to his room in a sulk.

The stone father holds the television control,
orchestrates the night’s entertainment.
The other stays asleep like a bear.


Helen Ivory’s fourth Bloodaxe collection Waiting for Bluebeard is out now. She is also an artist, teaches for the Poetry School, for the Arvon Foundation, is a Poetry Society ‘Surgeon‘ and  an editor for The Poetry Archive.  My Two Fathers is taken from Waiting for Bluebeard.

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