Annie Clarkson’s ‘These Things Happened’

 
These Things Happened
Annie Clarkson
  
walked like a woman with broken heels across pavements
bags trailing with open zips, hair splitting with braids
scuff-eyed and frozen with bruises rich as honey
with hands grazed along knuckles from punching drunk
on the backs of garages when you weren’t watching
when you were busy with your lips on a cold neck
a shoulder, a face almost pinned to your collar
my skin scraped blue and without thought or reason
to confront you I became the colour of rain
 
stole leaves from sycamore trees
ripped them from branches and rubbed them like balm
into my cuts, into the dark nettle of these sores
until they stung like wasps and scarred my bones
they were friends these bandage and ointment days
they were winter lovers I held against my skin
under horsehair blankets, under mohair,
under wool nights I became a green song
 
later, washed in the ice and mud of puddles
scrubbed elbow to toe with pumice
and stones picked from disused quarries
leaving myself nine times at the edge
when you weren’t watching
when you were sleeping
I became hard as gravel
 
 
 
First published in Winter Hands (Shadow Train Books, 2007).

5 thoughts on “Annie Clarkson’s ‘These Things Happened’

  1. Rethabile

    “they were friends these bandage and ointment days
    they were winter lovers I held against my skin”

    as well as the last thought, are awesome.
    Thanks

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