We're delighted to present our Poem Of The Day, presented in association with Poetry Ireland.
Today's poem is Ghost, by Seán Hewitt - read it below.
Waking, close to morning but still
a shuttered, metal dark in the room:
a sound inside my dream, only a whimper
at first, then becoming human, a howl
raised in the street outside, left unanswered
then raised again. In my boxers, shivering
by the single-paned window, but seeing no-one
among the black shapes of the parked cars
or hedges, I went out half-dressed: shaking hand,
front door unlocked then pushed open,
and by the column of the porch, under a cone
of orange light, a young man slumped,
drunk, sobbing like his whole life
was unfurling outwards into sound.
And now, I am reminded of one afternoon,
home from school, my father digging out
the root of a conifer in the garden – I saw him
look up, suddenly alert, leave by the back gate
into the alley behind the terraces, and return
panicked with a boy in his arms. I recognised him,
about my age, from school, by his dreadlocks,
his turquoise streak of hair; but now lolling
under his own weight, his wrists draining
over my father's mudded jeans and the patio tiles.
I knew, even then, the rumours about him;
thought as we wrapped and pinned torn sheets
around his opened veins, how we might share,
once the truth was out, a bond, an elective blood.
Nights later, I only half-slept, expecting
at any moment to hear someone again outside,
as though time might be caught in a loop,
the same boy walking the mapped route
along the dark streets at the same hour
to my door. Again, I unshuttered the window,
stood waiting to see him come, barefoot, maybe,
down the path. Each night, no sign, until I thought,
perhaps, it was only me, or a dream of myself,
asking nightly to be greeted at the threshold,
allowed back into the cold room of my life.
But then, in each of us, a wound must be made
or given – there is always the soul waiting
at the door of the body, asking to be let out.
About The Poet: Seán Hewitt was born in 1990. He took his English degree at Cambridge, and went on to finish his Ph.D. at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool. He was chosen as one of the Poetry Trust's Aldeburgh Eight in 2015, a selective process that highlights emerging poets. He received the Resurgence Prize in 2017, an eco-poetry award given for his single poem, Ilex. He reviews for The Irish Times. And his debut pamphlet, called Lantern, is published by Offord Road Books.