New Home

Here’s a new poem about moving house, and the bittersweet nature of making memories. Beneath mine I’ve included a poem of Simon Armitages, which I’ve both studied and taught at GCSE. His is on the same topic, but focuses thematically on a different kind of bittersweet: the move from adolescence to adulthood.

Emily x


Beeston, Nottingham. 2015

New Home

The kitchen, so far only houses
two shy mugs; a single pint of milk.
The ceiling bulb blazes,
as yet unshaded,
and the unfilled frames,
the drawers,
the plains of the walls,
are yawning,

Today we have deliberated
over how to fill them
and whether to fill them,
aware that as soon as we
have hammered in picture hooks
And tacked up posters
we will struggle to untack them,
and there is no known cure, yet,
for hammering.

More acquisitive than you,
The shelves bulge with my memories –
lanterns from Thai  markets
and old New Yorkers –
an artfully arranged display
of the chasms between us;
emblems of the past
standing sentinel.

The clock on the oven is unset,
flashing midnight,
and as I hover before it
I almost let it stay,
Teetering at the precipice
Of an eternal day.

But I crouch, press the buttons,
And set a new world in sway.


Mother, any distance greater than a single span 

Mother, any distance greater than a single span
requires a second pair of hands.
You come to help me measure windows, pelmets, doors,
the acres of the walls, the prairies of the floors.

You at the zero-end, me with the spool of tape, recording
length, reporting metres, centimetres back to base, then leaving
up the stairs, the line still feeding out, unreeling
years between us. Anchor. Kite.

I space-walk through the empty bedrooms, climb
the ladder to the loft, to breaking point, where something
has to give;
two floors below your fingertips still pinch
the last one-hundredth of an inch…I reach
towards a hatch that opens on an endless sky
to fall or fly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s