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Swimming with Jellyfish

Swimming with Jellyfish

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Even though you’ve left home
and probably don’t remember,
I can’t take the two steps down
to the back door—the stone steps
I set in concrete one summer
and called you to leave your handprint—
without seeing you sprinting
in your dress, white shoes,
blonde hair full of speed,
me thinking the steps and your legs
would miss each other and you falling,
falling through the years to smack
your forehead again on the bluntness
of the doorstep and always, too late,
me running towards you.

This second collection of poetry from Stuart Pickford is a tremendous follow-up to The Basics (Redbeck Press, 2001) which was shortlisted for the Forward Best First Collection Prize. His earnest poetic voice echoes throughout his work, highlighting the deeper meanings behind his direct and concise language style. He has twice been commended in the National Poetry Competition, the last time in 2012 for his poem ‘Swimming with Jellyfish’ which gives its name to the title of this collection.