Poetry Will Tell It
forwards. You are hiking away from the shadows
that roost in your musty attic. You are climbing
through caves where night stays trapped
in rockpools, over sheer cliffs cragged like wisdom
teeth, eyes screwed shut against the pain of hailstones,
of twinging heart, of shortness of breath.
Somewhere, there is a classroom, sun rushing in
through the skylight. There is Giant Jenga,
and books, and displays you’ve stapled together.
Butterflies finger-painted across sugar paper,
pegged on the line that runs across the ceiling.
The smell of whiteboard pens. Of mown grass.
Of sixty new shoes. Children sit cross-legged
on the story carpet, fidgeting, giggling,
shushing one another. Waiting.
One step at a time, darling. One step at a time.
*I wrote this poem for my best friend, Maddy. The title and the beginning of the first line are inspired by her favourite poem, ‘Last Post’ by Carol Ann Duffy.
What Olivia says about wellbeing writing: I'm not exaggerating in the slightest when I say that writing - in particular, writing poetry - saved my life. I started writing poetry when I was nineteen and my life was on hold due to mental illness. I had some wonderful mentors who were really kind about my work and encouraged me to submit to magazines. When I saw my writing in print, I felt genuinely proud of myself for the first time. Four years later, I’ve been a contributor in an array of print and online journals and anthologies, I’m an editorial intern at Tears in the Fence magazine, and my pamphlet,Things Only Borderlines Know, which was very cathartic to write, is published by Black Rabbit Press. My writing has taken me to the other side of the planet (yes, I had to come home early because of Covid-19, but that's not the point!) and back. I'd give poetry five stars - I constantly recommend it to my friends.
Olivia Tuck's poetry has appeared in an array of print and online journals, including Under the Radar, The Interpreter's House and Ink Sweat & Tears. She also has work forthcoming in Tears in the Fence, where she is an intern whilst studying for a BA in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. Olivia’s pamphlet Things Only Borderlines Know is out now with Black Rabbit Press. Find her on Twitter: @livtuckwrites