Now my brother has died – Helen Calcutt

Now my brother has died

the flowers have opened. Somehow the sound of a river
is moving in my head.
Somehow the startled flowers.
Or is it blood? Heart, the ephemeral mouth
opening and closing. How dare it grant me
this steady life. The strength of it.
I want a stillness, still I
go on, like the soul of a river, living loud with
other rivers, longing for murdered flowers
and for the sudden resurrection of a hanging
How dare this life
make me want the things I’d die to love,
but river-bound, never could.


Helen is a poet, writer and dance artist. Her pamphlet Sudden rainfall (Perdika Press) was shortlisted for the PBS Pamphlet Choice Award, and became a Waterstones best-selling collection in 2016. Her first full-length book of poems Unable Mother, described as a ‘violent and tender grapple with our cosy notions of motherhood’ (Robert Peake) was published by V.Press in September 2018.

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