NaPoReMo #7: I’ll go to the foot of our stairs

The Bell Jar


Adrian Mitchell

At the top of the stairs
I ask for her hand.  O.K.
She gives it to me.
How her fist fits my palm,
A bunch of consolation.
We take our time
Down the steep carpetway
As I wish silently
That the stairs were endless.


[from The Apeman Cometh, Cape 1975]

Tell me you didn’t go ‘aaahhh’ when you read it. Of course you did. You recognise that feeling, that experience.

Unlike yesterday’s Larkin, there aren’t any fireworks or special effects in this one. Don’t stare at it like a Magic Eye print in hopes that a hidden structure will appear. It works more or less as it seems to, as a simple moment of recollection. Hardly worth calling a poem, right?

But still, you went ‘aaah’. Mitchell’s poetry is meaningful, memorable and humane. What craft there is here helps to make the piece effective…

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