Two poems by Richard Price

A stepladder in a white room

A stepladder in a white room –
                    the beginning of an alphabet.
That was… forty years ago.

That was
                    twenty years ago.
That was tomorrow was it? Is it
the beginning?
I caught my fingers in the hinge.
I caught my daughter’s finger in the hinge.
Watch the, watch that simple mechanism.
It’s only aluminium but watch the hinge.
A swan on a dark loch –
                    the end of an alphabet.
I am not… visiting a friend.
I am not
                    going into that hospital.
I am visiting a friend. I am so
                    going into that hospital.
Is it the end? Is it
the simple end?
A step ladder in a white room.
A swan on a dark loch.
                                                                                Stepladder / swan.



to contain fury
                              to keep the restless peace
to protect
                    this family        risk release
to contain contagion
                                                        to let
                                                                                   laughter breathe

to protect

to. let. light. leave.
Richard Price grew up in Scotland, just southwest of Glasgow. His collections include Lucky Day, a celebratory collection which pays homage to his daughter, who has Angelman’s Syndrome; Rays, a collection of lyrical love poems; and Small World, which won the Scottish Poetry Book of the Year. It’s a collection which explores the complexity of modern families and relationships at the point of crisis. He is Head of Contemporary British Collections at the British Library. @InfoPrice