Stephen Sexton, Co Down (Ballygowan)
24 year old Stephen has just started a Phd in Poetry and Creative Writing at Queen’s University, Belfast. He wrote ‘Scrabble’ following his mother’s death in summer 2012 as he found language inadequate when trying to contemplate her death.
Perhaps this was the last thing you thought of:
a hotel balcony in Barcelona;
terracotta tiles slicked by the guerrilla
Mediterranean rain. Or the smell
of salt gale-stripped from the sea in belts
large enough to preserve us here – still cantilevered
out into the lightning, the playing board’s
tessellate form untouched for the storm’s
duration. Perhaps the cool sensation
as the last breath of wind from the open
mouth of the water draws the board over
the balcony; scattering tiles under
it like damp sycamore seeds into the street.
There’s me catching fists of air after them.
There’s us against the railings, voices
above the plastic hail.
By Stephen Sexton