This poem is taken from Stand 223, 17(3) September - November 2019.

Stuart Pickford Two Poems

There seems no point opening the blinds
when night won’t leave morning. He stirs
his mug of tea, stares at the flurries
drawn to the centre. It’s then he realises

she’d left the light on. He’d gone to bed
early, to read, he said. About three
he’d woken, his book spilled on the sheets.
The lamp glared at him. She was asleep.


Tropical North Queensland was rubbery and lush
but behind the supermarket, pallets, trolleys
and you slumped, back against the wall, knees up,
head down, a kind of box of your own making.

I remember this: your straight hair, unlike
most of the blacks back home; in the Ashmolean,
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