Two poems by Matthew Stewart


    Shortheath Road


In a suburb of my former home town
on the way to a relegation clash,
I stop to get a pasty for half-time
at our corner shop, waiting in a queue
alongside freshly elderly people.

They’re the latest versions of Mum and Dad:
Damart trousers, Dannimacs and stout shoes.
A diffidence is creeping over them,
a new uncertainty that makes them pause
at every shuffle in case they stumble.

Back in the car, following old routines
- ignition, lights and the rear-view mirror -
I prod the grey that’s seeped through my sideburns
like moisture through tissue paper.
First gear, and I’m off to the match.



    At the Far Post


Forget your novels, plays or films,
the only remaining moment
I can suspend my disbelief

is an overcast Saturday
in March, stood among curses, coughs
and scarves on a crumbling terrace,

as our winger hoists a deep cross,
our striker buries his header
and all of us erupt.


Matthew Stewart

About Matthew Stewart

Matthew Stewart works in the Spanish wine trade and lives between Extremadura and West Sussex. His first full collection, The Knives of Villalejo, was published in 2017, and his second full collection is forthcoming from HappenStance Press in November 2023.