A Summer Blues

The blue wall.  

And the house  

holding here like a bur  

in the shade of Shiver Hill.  


The begging and begging 

for you to build again – this time  

something cool and that will last  

and high up in the trees. 


But you aren’t the man  

you appeared to be  

that first night on Prospect Street. 


So the hard mornings-after.  

Mornings of frying eggs  

in a skillet, spitting oil against  

the wall, blue as a chalkhill blue.  

A crust of ladybirds inked  

dead in the kitchen window  

and guitar strings  

that might rust to blue or ring forever. 


And my nights like a praying drunk –  

smashed and alone and falling asleep  

watching YouTube clips  

of catfish rising and taking  

pigeons, teal, a dog even  

off the water’s broken surface.  

This kind of deep dark is all I will ever earn. 

from 'Country Music' (Offord Road Books, 2020), © Will Burns 2020, used by permission of the author.

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Will Burns is a poet and novelist. He first came to prominence in 2014 as a Faber New Poet and has since authored poetry collections ...

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