Laura Potts


Altar in the Church of Segusino damaged in WW I. Courtesy of the Austrian National Library

The evening of your days

I remember
on the other side of a hospice night.
A funeral in my face,
your ghostcandled fatherlight
still laughing, bright,
in the winter of your age.

The world in your ember days
lit up its lights in a biblical rain.
Long and far,
the crack of the night
in that dark throbbing room
showed your four-medal war arms,
your eyeballs stars.
The nightjars were still and did not stir you

when Death in his formal garden
took the bones of my grandfather,
took the hissing skin
that brimmed with disease
in all the mists of that morning,
the dawn
at the edge of his sleep
something last,
Your terminal cry I heard long.

After that, the morning hours ran on.
In a dawn darkly,
on a singing white page
at the rim of my memory,
the long wartime age
of your history
I scrawled:
your lost laugh,
your long love,
all the days of your life –

and never your death at all.


About the writer:
Laura Potts has twice been named a London Foyle Young Poet of the Year and Young Writer. In 2013 she became an Arts Council Northern Voices poet and Lieder Poet at the University of Leeds. Her poems have appeared in Seamus Heaney’s Agenda, Poetry Salzburg Review and The Interpreter’s House. Having studied at The University of Cape Town and worked at The Dylan Thomas Birthplace in Swansea, Laura has recently become Agenda’s Young TS Eliot Poet and been shortlisted for a Charter-Oak Award for Best Historical Fiction in Colorado. This year Laura was shortlisted in The Oxford Brookes International Poetry Prize, was named one of The Poetry Business’ New Poets, and became a BBC New Voice for 2017. Her first BBC radio drama Sweet The Mourning Dew aired at Christmas 2017.

Image: Altar in the Church of Segusino damaged by artillery fire in WW I. Courtesy of the Austrian National Library on Unsplash.