Writings and Witterings



This is the poem that was short listed for the Paragram Poetry Prize in 2013- I was invited to Covent Garden to read both this and the long listed ‘Hobgoblin Trees’. I’m posting this for dVerse, where we have Kelly behind the bar. Kelly’s asked us about scents that linger, so this poem is, I believe, fitting the criteria.


Grey, receding,
the fragrance of his shaving gel.
He carries an iPad.

The first thing to leave
is the light of his eyes.
I touch his absence;
a disembodied voice,                  ‘see you later.’

There are magical contortions
made by dust motes,
they swirl in the sunbeams that
pour through the east window,
and echo, ‘later, later.’

I still feel the tweed jacket,
rough against my fingers,
it lingers with his shadow in the room.

Polly Stretton © 2013

Shortlisted for the Paragram Poetry Prize 2013