If propelled forwards,
its power to bridge
the gap between us
might strike you
as unusual.

If so, let it
erase your memory
of my hard-shelled silence,
of the words
I’ve left dangling
in mid-air.

Let it do anything
you ask of it –
walk the dog,
play handcuffs,
lie patiently on its back,
not a ripple of despair.

Unlike me,
you’ll find you can
tug its heart-strings,
can make it trip
for your charms.

But remember,
it can turn too,
whirling through space
towards you like
an off-the-cuff comment,
a clenched fist,
a bullet.

from Lost Relatives (Steele Roberts, New Zealand, 2011), © Siobhan Harvey 2011, used by permission of the author. Poet’s private recording 2011.

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.