Three poems by Sarah Law

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Below are three poems from Sarah Law’s new pamphlet My Converted Father, recently published by Broken Sleep Books.

 


 

    Hobbies

 

I’ve had my enthusiasms, admits my converted father.
Your mother was never very encouraging.

I know, I say. It was fishing
for a while. You had rods, lines,
and tins of wriggling bait. Then
radio amateurs. Visits to France.
Life’s made of discovery and voyages, says my father.

After you died we discovered
brand new shoes in your dark green case;
a twenty-pound note tucked into its pocket.

I was readier to go than I knew, he muses.
I hope you spent it well?
A bottle of Jameson’s, for after the funeral.
A gift to you, then; keep the thought, the change.

 


 

    Names

 

Towards the end, we sorted
through your books, in the quiet
of the bedroom with its pool-blue walls.

I touched the spine of each; you
considered your bequest. Yes, I remember,
says my father. I asked you to send

the qi gong ones to Frances. She
didn’t need converting. You shared
the root of a name, I observe.

The middle way, he answers.
If you had been a boy, I would have
called you Patrick. Old-school,

Celtic, ready to bless. As it was,
I had your mother’s name, I say.
A princess, a gypsy, a wife:

she never knew me, but perhaps she wondered.

 


 

    Skye

 

When you were in the hospice,
I had the strangest dream: you had
a son we never knew about, and he
had come to see you -

a short man in his forties with a sparse black beard.
I know nothing about it, says my father.
I was sleeping at the time. Yes, I say.

These liminal states are difficult to map.
We guide ourselves like bats;
unseeing, flit-prone, reversed.

You know, on your last day I woke
at dawn, with a lilt in my mind.

It was time to go home,
says my converted father;

over the seas to Skye.

 

Sarah Law

About Sarah Law

Sarah Law lives in London where she is a tutor for the Open University and elsewhere. In addition to academic work, she has published five collections of poetry: two with Stride ('Bliss Tangle' and 'The Lady Chapel'), two with Shearsman ('Perihelion' and 'Ascension Notes'), and her collection 'Ink's Wish', first published with Gatehouse Press, was shortlisted for the 2014 East Anglian Book Awards. Recent poetry appears or is forthcoming in 'Ink, Sweat & Tears'; 'Psaltery & Lyre'; 'Amaryllis'; 'The Windhover'; 'Saint Katherine Review'; 'America'; and elsewhere. She edits the online journal 'Amethyst Review' for new writing engaging with the sacred.