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In the room with WS Graham

Sarah Wedderburn

I’ve laid my coat on your bed as if you were my friend,

as if, overlapped with quiet sea light, I could sit here

and rest a moment from the future, with Nessie

next to me under her blanket, still listening to you


when sleep rolls over her like a fog. Thank you for letting me

plunge into your books, your crags and gardens, 

those drifts of language in your cold seas—for not minding 

how I eavesdrop at the table where your head is bent.


Today you’re angling for stars. It must be hard to hook them

in the misty afternoon, but you manage. Even lines you cut

hang round the sky like ghosts. I breathe their absence,

the shapes they leave. When I put my coat on, fumbling 


for tickets to the place I’ve come from, keys to homes 

that began me, I find my pockets deeper than I imagined. I will

dig in their corners for a coastline of my own. Attend to the roar

of breakers. Stay all day. Let words make their alteration.

Commissioned by the National Poetry Library as part of Constructing Spaces. In partnership with graduates of the Poetry School’s MA in Writing Poetry.

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