Poem of the Week | Early Release by James Whyte

Early Release

by James Whyte


The house sat where it always had 

on the hill at the end of the lane. 


Your father carried your bag from the boot

to the back door as if you were a child again.


It was March and a blackbird poured 

its liquid heart from a bare branch.


Its bill was translucent 

like the heads of the daffodils.


The breeze was cold and smelt 

of earth and slurry. Inside, 


your mother fried bacon while 

you sat at the kitchen table seeing again, 


as through the windscreen of your speeding car 

the child’s blond curls stirred by the wind


her small hand clutching the red crisp packet, 

walking with you always now, 


your beautiful, innocent, lost gaoler.


HeadStuff is now open for poetry submissions for our spring Poem of the Week series. We are extending this deadline to the end of April. Check our submissions page for guidelines. To read previous Poems of the Week check out our Poetry Archive.

Cover photo by Matt Bradford-Aunger on Unsplash