Shadows – Bethany Rivers


Beyond the Scots’ Pine and the Monkey Puzzle tree
at the edge of the farmers’ fields a blood-orange sun
is dying.  You always said you could cradle

the sun in the palm of your hand.
I watched you raise your hand into the sky
to prove it, your other hand on my shoulder.

The grass retains your footsteps from this morning
when you went out in your dressing gown and slippers
to check if the doves were back.  An imprinted

trail in coated frost, the sun was unable
to melt.  Later, when you’re not there, I touch
the tiny icicles on a blade of grass –

it would take me years to warm the whole
lawn, and I wonder if that’s the task
you’ve secretly appointed me with.  Sky fades

to peach melba then dusty pink , a pink
I used to love, and you don’t remember:
even Yew trees lose their greenness at dusk

I run from the creeping shadows
of all those things I should have said.


Bethany Rivers’ pamphlet, ‘Off the wall’, published by Indigo Dreams (2016).  Previous publications include: Envoi, Cinnamon Press, Obsessed with Pipework, The Ofi Press, Clear Poetry, Picaroon Poetry.  She teaches and mentors the writing of memoir, novels and poetry.



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