Every room is another room. a poem by Dave Lewis

Dave Lewis

Every room is another room

It didn’t take long for you to go, not really, although it felt like a hundred years.
Watched you sleeping in that tiny room with nothing in the wardrobes or drawers.

After it was over though I started on the clothes,
holding each shirt close for the smell of you in healthier times.
I made a bonfire in the garden of your precious perfumed papers
then felt guilty, like Isobel. I filled bag after bag with things
you hadn’t thought about for ages;
your yellow foreman’s helmet,
tomato seeds still in their packets,
dented trophies that they gave you
for winning at skittles.

I moved house just as fast as I could after promising you I never would.
But what could I do? Imagine that hill without your comfortable blue car,
my arms aching with groceries.

I do miss the mountain at the end of the road, the soft stream that we’d cross every night.
And the cups of tea and twice the washing up, the times I would escape from your ranting
at the TV, when I’d take my knitting or a book to another room.

Now every room is another room.

Sometimes when I’m falling asleep, I think of kisses on Mediterranean beaches,
the bunches of flowers, the gold and the silver,
the sun on our faces, the strawberry picking
and the long drive back from Hereford.

In the garden I struggle with the weeds, so much harder now it’s not a competition.
Each night those stairs seem to get steeper. I’m so lonely while I’m lying awake
that I pray sometimes for a burglar to slither his lock pick into my door,
then lay down beside me and breathe the bouquet of warm beer
onto my wrinkled old neck, turn the page of the sheet
and fire the cold dead hearth.

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Dave Lewis is a working-class writer, poet and photographer from Cilfynydd. He read zoology at Cardiff University and has always lived in Wales apart from a year, teaching and volunteering in Kenya. He founded the International Welsh Poetry Competition – the biggest in Wales. He also runs Writers of Wales, the Poetry Book Awards and book publishing company Publish & Print. He has published many books. His epic poem, Roadkill, deals with the class struggle, while his collection, Going Off Grid, outlines the dangers of digital capitalism. Resolutely untrendy he is shunned by the literature establishment in Wales.

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Published by darcie friesen hossack

Darcie Friesen Hossack is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers. Her short story collection, Mennonites Don’t Dance, was a runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Award, shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading Evergreen Award for Adult Fiction. Citing irreverence, the book was banned by the LaCrete Public Library in Northern Alberta. Having mentored with Giller finalists Sandra Birdsell (The Russlander) and Gail Anderson Dargatz (Spawning Grounds, The Cure for Death by Lightening), Darcie's first novel, Stillwater, will be released in the spring of 2023. Darcie is also a four time judge of the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and a career food writer. She lives in Northern Alberta, Canada, with her husband, international award-winning chef, Dean Hossack.

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