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The Spoon in the Bathroom by Ian Williams

Arts Richmond

Online - 19 September 2020

The Spoon in the Bathroom by Ian Williams

There’s a spoon in the bathroom.

It was the last thing that she touched

before they came for her.


Dazed and disorientated

they led her away and quietly sat her in the car.

I remember that look on her face,

a mixture of bewilderment but also knowing;

knowing she would never see the house again

but not understanding why.

Incongruently happy but with tears on her cheeks.


She was happy here,

her home for over thirty years.

Once her pride and joy

she would polish the brass and dust the mirrors.

Each spring she would paint the doorstep with Red Cardinal.


But the cobwebs that filled the corners

also crept into her mind.

Broken synapses fluttered gently in the breeze

and turned her personality to dust.

She still knew who I was

but I was out of time now,

an old man interloping in her youthful memories;

reminiscences that excluded me.


She would get up in the night,

leave all the lights blazing,

fiddle with the phone – dialling random numbers

in search of answers.

She wandered around, gathering objects

and then would leave them – misplaced as her memory.


There’s a spoon in the bathroom... it was the last thing she touched.



from ABOUT TIME, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.

The Spoon in the Bathroom by Ian Williams

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