Atoms – Robert Ford


Even now, deep into your final disintegration, we still find humour,
hidden like truffles in the darkness, waiting to be unearthed. You joke

about the size of hole I’ll need to dig. I tell you that you underestimate
what I can do with a shovel; a long, spare afternoon or two; light soil.

We bitch about the weather, name each raindrop, argue the relative merits
of every prevailing wind, decide we are all of us fog. All temporary storms.

I hear you’ve started going to mass again, hedging your bets perhaps.
An over-confident priest comes calling, addresses you as ‘dude

without a flicker of irony. He may or may not be after your soul, but
it’s your atoms that concern me. Could I find them again one day,

sending cryptic signals through the leaves at the bottom of a teacup?
Or in a sunlit puddle, once these sullen thunderclouds have rolled away?


Robert Ford’s poetry has appeared in print and online publications in the UK, US and elsewhere, including The Interpreter’s House, Brittle Star, Butcher’s Dog and San Pedro River Review. More of his work can be found at




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