This poem is taken from Stand 219, 16(3) August - September 2018.

Roddy Williams Poem
February

The streets were filled with frozen random words
snatched to ice the moment they left warm mouths
before they could reach ears or mobile phones.
I picked some up and put them in my bag.
One thawed on the bus, a man shouting ‘Tench!’
Another was a whisper that skittered
over the pavement in front of my house.
It was a woman. I think she said ‘Ralph!’
in a tone suggesting he was long gone.

The last I left on the kitchen table
sloughing off breaths that heaved themselves to sound.
Then there was a crack and the word was born
quite slowly like a moth emerging soft
into the world, new, waiting for meaning.
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