Poem of the Week | January and Decay by Ruth Quinlan

January and Decay

After ‘April and Silence’ by Tomas Tranströmer
By Ruth Quinlan

This dark month crouches by the compost bin,

waiting to be thrown to the frozen heap.


It is the tea-bag of stewed brew at the bottom of a cup,

the banana turning black inside the fruit bowl.


It is the sea-weed remains of spinach,

entombed in plastic in a corner of the fridge.


It is the sliced pan giving birth to furry mould

beneath the cover of its smooth, waxed paper.


It is the sherry-sweet smell of fermentation

swirling under the lids of uneaten jam.


It is the corpses of leaves clogging gutters,

the muddy scum on the water-barrel surface.


It is the dog-shit blanketed by parsley in the greenhouse,

leeching roundworms into beds of mustard.


This dark month must be weathered as a curse,

waiting for the snowdrop to lift it.


Check out previous Poems of the Week here.

We are currently closed for submissions for Poem of the Week. Submissions for the next Poem of the Week series will open 1st February 2020.

Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash