Tuesday, November 1, 2022



Toll Bridge


I drove across that breathtaking sweep

of concrete, between life and death… felt

my heart leaps. The Erskine views


east and west, city and coast, and the space

that housed old toll-booths gone now.

Two nearly-women climbed a barrier.


So young, such a long walk, a hard road.

Did they hold each other up, I wonder,

waver hand-in-hand not believing


time would grow into familiar scars?


The Well


Mum in motion, talked air thin,

leaving you slightly-informed;

drips added to her layers.


Everyone was her buckets, held

old whispered secrets

sealed behind eyes and lips.


She’s gone but still here. I am her,

deep and cool. My daughter

thinks she’s escaped.

Weekending In Brussels


I stand on a hill

gasping for breath; history

sucks me back to that Waterloo.


Bloody battlefield

men roiling in mud, too weary

to curse, hold onto anger


fell in scattered, dying whispers.

My throat is clogged

with the weight of them.




IRENE CUNNINGHAM has had many poems in many magazines and anthologies over the decades. 2019 Hedgehog Press published, SANDMEN: A Space Odyssey, a poetry conversation with Diana Devlin. 2022 Dreich Press published her first solo chapbook, No Country for Old Woman. She moved to Brighton last year.


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