Poetry Week | Stop by Laura Rahill


by Laura Rahill



And listen.

Don’t panic,

but come home now.

Time is waiting,


for us all  

to just stop.

And listen.

Have you ever really heard

your heart beat before

can you hear it now?


Do the birds beyond 

your own kitchen windows

sound unfamiliar

as they sing

the same song,

haven’t they always sung to you?

Can’t you see your fathers’ tree

has sprung apples

and is offering them, outstretched

with no one to take,

because they didn’t notice?

Haven’t you seen

that picture hangs crooked,

the one of us

hairs wild with the wind

at old Kinsale Head

is it still your favourite?

Had you not realised

that houseplant has died

and withered to bare branches?

You must have neglected

to tend those needs.

Have you forgotten 

the blue shades

of your lover’s eyes




that once 

made your eardrums beat?

Time is asking 

that you look again.

Your child tells a story

for the fourth time

but it’s the first you heard

so excited with glee

that you stopped

to listen.

Did you forget

that blob of paint

on the wooden floor,

how he laughed when you skited him

with the wet paint brush,

do you remember

that day?

Remember that day.

When we seemed

to laugh slower

and longer.

Is it really so unwelcome

to steal a moment for yourself

now there’s no guilt?


go to the mirror

and see

an unfamiliar face

changed and weathered

with wrinkles

where you have laughed.


And remember

the person you were

back when you did not realise

you would never

have the time. 


Please check our submissions page for guidelines on submitting. To read previous Poems of the Week check out our Poetry Archive.

Cover photo by Nathan Hulsey on Unsplash