This week's Poem Of The Week, in association with Poetry Ireland, celebrates UNESCO World Poetry Day, which recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind. Our poem is Bones Brigade, by Sophie Meehan.

About The Poem: Sophie says the inspiration for this poem was her ‘constant state of distraction. Every time I start doing something I want to be doing something else, and a lot of my poems come from when I’m supposed to be concentrating on other stuff. I also have a constant fantasy reel running in my head of what I could be if I wasn’t just myself, so this poem comes out of my fascination with skateboarding and my wish that I were a cool 1970s skater chick. The Z-boys pioneered a new style of skating in the mid ‘70s in California, from finding empty swimming pools to skate in amidst a drought. I love the idea that a new cultural movement can come about by accident from an environmental condition. ‘


BONES BRIGADE  

For Seán Ó Ciardha

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I spent the years when my bones were still growing

Burying them in my room

So I’ll never have spent them skating

In an empty swimming pool in Venice Beach

I imagine those kids

At least as sexless as I was

Too consumed by what their bodies could do on boards

To care about what they could do on beds

The boys with long hair and girls in flares

With hair bleached and skin darkened

In the sun


Puddles collecting in the bottom of the bowl

To splash in and cool off

You’ll dry soon anyway

In the sun

They have scars from it

Things to take out in bars and offices

And say that’s from that time I fell

Or was knocked or pushed

Or jumped just for the hell of it

And someone took the stitches out

With his bare hands

There’s the dirt from his fingernail

The grit from his board

Trapped in there forever like an insect in amber

A little bit of that summer healed under the skin


Maybe things would be different now

Or maybe the same

But my hands are white starfish and

I’ve never broken a bone.


First published in Poetry Ireland Introductions 2016 (Poetry Ireland 2017)

About the poet: Sophie Meehan is a Dublin-based writer of poetry and fiction. She is currently in Iceland, working on various writing projects.