At Eighteen – Beth McDonough

At Eighteen

This birthday slippers in,
scuffs autumn’s first frost.
You exist, fragile in rowan leaves
veined into pavements. Whatever I lift
rips a little, risks more loss. New damp glues
your thinning reality close, holds you
unique among so many walked-on patterns.

Cobbled to here, the road slows
an uneven ahead, which now
runs into breathless space.
Though branches collar October,
a throat opens to sing the firth’s
floated celebratory light.


Beth McDonough trained in Silversmithing at GSA, completing her M.Litt at Dundee University. Writer in Residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts 2014-16, her poetry appears in Agenda, Causeway and Antiphon and elsewhere and her reviews in DURA.

Handfast  (with Ruth Aylett), Mother’s Milk Books, 2016 charts family experiences – Aylett’s of dementia and McDonough’s of autism.

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