Near Distance

At last the heart makes its way
past sadness, regret,
grows at ease with shadows
that move like humble servants
about the room,
sweeping up words
where they had fallen
as dust motes, unconnected
from anything we meant to say;

brushing the edge off memory,
turning it face downwards,
tending its slow seepage
into the daily habit
of absence
under one roof.


first published in The World Record: International Voices from Southbank Centre’s Poetry Parnassus (Bloodaxe, 2012), © Esther Phillips 2012, used by permission of the author.

Esther Phillips in the Poetry Store

The free tracks you can enjoy in the Poetry Archive are a selection of a poet’s work. Our catalogue store includes many more recordings which you can download to your device.