Still Poetry Saturday: Helen Ivory

SLEEP

from Helen Ivory’s The Breakfast Machine (Bloodaxe Books: Northumberland, 2010)

In this house, everything sleeps.
Even the walls have relaxed
and the roof is too tired
to hold up the weight of the sky.

It is so long since the front door
has opened, the skin has grown over.
The postman has given up
looking for the letter-box

The girl in the room upstairs
Is a woman now. In waking moments,
she sleepwalks to the mirror,
takes a brush to the long silk of her hair.

Before she lies down again, she’ll notice
the bird skulls on the windowsill,
how cobwebs have laced them together.
how her face has grown sharp as a knife.


Helen Ivory was born in Lutton in 1969, and lives in Norwich. She has worked in shops, behind bars, and on building sites with several-thousand free-range hens. She has studied painting and photography and has a Degree from Nowrich School of Art. In 1999 she won an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Others;

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