Lydia Fulleylove


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poet & writer




The Boy in the Icehouse

Poems & extracts from Estuary
Two Ravens Press, October 2014

9 February

In the Winter Barn

At 81, Malcolm climbed the oak tree

30 December

By the broken jetty

seaweed on pebbles
  surf on beach


She's staring through the bars
on the window and seeing only
concrete, wire and gates. She's
almost drowning in the sudden
fluid longing for the sea -
the surge, the swell -
slip-silvering her limbs.
She's remembering the gates
banged close behind her.
She can't quite get her head round
what it means, this being shut in.
She's watching the prison guard
who's watching her and she's tasting
the salt still on her skin.

He's putting on the clothes
they have to wear for visits,
the stiff blue jeans, the yellow bib,
the short-sleeve shirt striped
blue and white, like some mutt's
idea of a sailor. He's waiting
by the gate in Echo Wing,
sweating because he knows
that by now he should have heard
the jangle of the keys as they
unlock the corridor of afternoon
to let him cross the compound,
head down through the August heat
and the clang of fourteen gates.

She's sticking to the edge of
her orange chair tethered to a table
low enough to bark her shins
and she's staying calm by calling
on the undertow of morning
when the kindly prison officer
comes to tell her that he's sorry,
that it's just as well she's only
come from down the river.
And she's outside again,
the coils of barbed wire glittering
on the razor fence and she's listening -
no, she's trying not to listen
when the skin of the afternoon splits.

Lydia Fulleylove