Everyday Heroics by Jackey Smith


Everyday Heroics

Love, you leave me breathless,

fired by curls of hair along your arm or chest

and now my heart’s a storm blown rag,

fearing every gust or thorn,

the dangers of a cut throat’s prowl,

the mastiff’s lockdown bite.

I’d pray if praying helped and offer bribes

to oil the tick and play of random acts,

to weight the roll of chaos

or its anti twin to kinder odds

and keep you safe from allergens

ballooning through your fragile cells

or from the nails of jealous girls.

And yes, I’d blunt the spike of pathogens

with booster shot or firewall

and steer you from the river’s crust

of fickle ice or quicksand’s wicked kiss.

And yes, I’d take the impact,

grant you an immunity

if such a shield was mine to give,

and guard the subtle pulse

within your traceries of vein.

Love has undermined my equilibrium

and if I fear disaster

or that your heart could cease

to whir its perfect harmonies,

then humour this insanity

– my weakness dear, is you.

About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
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