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Outside Dublin

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Illustration by Mae Eade

by Holly Loveday

Baby blue swatches, one over each knee bouncing

their sawtooth edges and pinking at the ears.


You are the only man I know whose hands look full

while empty, inspecting where threads cross


at right angles. Fabric can be tightly woven,

cotton often has little stretch,


I watch myself fall into floral patterns:

oil cloth, mud-cuffed trousers,


a clump of wilting bathroom daisies.

I watch myself struggle to leave the driveway


tangled in a nettle, borage, and violet excuse,

a woven set of gates.


You tease me as we promenade the willow and whitethorn hedge

which has never looked so healthy in spring.


I’ve learnt to step outside to watch the sun smear 

itself across the sky before setting

with that unearthly wind cutting through the under flesh of my arms,


as an apology

and as a bid to curtail your footsteps.


When you hand over a knee of blue, a contribution, 

once the tape falls loose from my bust,


I see in your hands a keepsake, endure,

pass it back.

Holly Loveday is a poet from Hackney currently based in rural Tipperary. She studies psychology, goes on long walks and can be often found wrist deep in compost.

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