You’ll never walk alone

The grandmother ever at my shoulder
What harm another little nub of butter?
A pinch of sage would lift the whole thing

Navigating the gaps as nimbly now as she did
in her dimly-lit kitchen with its three trip-up steps to sprinkle and stir—
her jealous Jack Russell and me always lapping at her feet

My grandfather appearing out of thin air, his fine white hair backlit—
a smear of engine grease across his forehead
cutting through the seasoned haze with its air of industry

My mother and her Irish twin hovering together,
inseparable after birth, throughout their lives—
between death and life, and forever after

Their baby sister borne between them,
whose tiny feet never touched the ground
for as long as they both had lived

In every sunset, a swell of light
to lift you away out of the falling day
and carry you through the dark

These ghosts I wear
who bear
me up


Anne Casey (guest editor Issue 7)

Listen to Anne reading ‘You’ll never walk alone’ (1:37)


First published in The Same (Issue 15.4, November 2018) and subsequently in out of emptied cups poetry collection (Salmon Poetry 2019).

© text and audio 2020