Three Poems by Sam Rose



clouds thicken, darken
expand like a balloon
blown up and blown
up, the atmosphere tensing
faraway lightning, sky contracting
not quite there
but close
count the seconds between
flash and crack
the clouds roll a sea-like rhythm
comes forward in waves and
the pressure, oh the pressure
and then –

bursting, collapse
a shower, loud
releasing break

the thunderstorm gives one more judder
sky shudders
one more feeble clatter
and rolls over

takes a minute
easy breathing in the fresh air
turns away
cold arms, clammy back
wonders if this is how it feels
to be art

to only just feel complete
before being waved away
before being blown from the sky
before the door beckons

okay, I’m going
the thunderstorm says
pulls the bedsheet around itself
hunts for clothing, picks up
its keys
gives one last forlorn look
towards the horizon on its way out


Everything in this place has sharp edges.
I catch my foot getting into the shower
misjudge the high lip at the door
give it some lip of my own in my head.
I hit my elbow against the corner of the wall
stumble back to the bed, everything in this
hotel room is just three steps away from where
I am stood. I don’t look out of the window
to admire the city wrapped in lights. I am
too wrapped up in everything right here.
There is enough dark right here, closing
in on the doorless wardrobe, the wall
mounted television, the foot between
the bed and the bathroom. I can’t turn
around without bumping into something
that hurts me and I can’t escape. I don’t have
the energy or the will to even look out of the
window. I collapse onto the bed and try to
sleep but lie here thinking instead.
Everything in this place has sharp edges.

The Boy in the Window

What became of the boy in the window?
The one whose house backed onto mine,
the trees once separating our back gardens
cut down, to reveal him in his bedroom.
What became of him, the boy who sat on
the window ledge, legs dangling out
above the lawn, listening to his music?
I would look up at him from my kitchen
diner – smile, wave. Enjoy being watched
as I went about my day. Get excited when
he waved back. I remember walking
around the room with a green face pack on
before realising he had taken up his usual
position. Then later, sitting on the dining
table listening to my mother talking to
my grandfather on the phone, about my
grandmother, who was not long for this
world. Early evening, mother asking about
the fall as she smoked in our orange kitchen,
me swinging my legs as I listened and looked
up at him, the boy in the window.
Fifteen years later, I think back to the time
my friend and I called out to the boy from
the back bedroom, my niece sitting on my
shoulders. We asked what he was
listening to. Rage Against The Machine.
I didn’t know them then, but I thought
I could like them. And now, fifteen years
later, what of the boy in the window?
What became of him? Did he do well at
school, pass his exams, go to university?
Does he have a good job and is he married?
Will his own children one day, unknown to
their parents, climb up to their bedroom
windows, take them off the latch, crouch
on the sill and dangle their legs, knocking
their heels idly against the brick, looking
down at the lawn below, enjoying the rush,
wondering if the grass would break their fall,
thinking it isn’t so far to jump. Was the boy
in the window even real? Let’s not make him
too real. Let’s just keep him up there in his
window, looking into my kitchen, where we
remain fifteen and unaware of the world
beyond our block.

Sam Rose is a writer and editor from Northamptonshire, England. She is the editor of Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine and The Creative Truth. Her work has appeared in Scarlet Leaf Review, Terror House Magazine, Eunoia Review, In Between Hangovers, and others. Sam is a cancer survivor and primarily uses her experiences with this to write poetry and memoir.


Twitter: @writersamr

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