Joan Johnston

One month on, a late-deal to Rome
then Capri, and Mam, always happy
at home, to cook, knit, do the garden

was sipping Campari in the hotel lounge
when I got back from the beach.
Look what I've bought, pet. Unwrapped

on the table was a small oval dish,
gold-rimmed yellow porcelain. A piece of real
Capo di Monte. Just what I've always wanted.

She picked it up, stroked her fingertips across
its decorated surface - three glazed cherubs
in relief, naked in a grove, frolicking.

Joan Johnston

Joan Johnston was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and lives on Tyneside. For the last 25 years she has worked as a writer in hospitals, prisons, day-centres and schools, and with women's groups, the homeless, and older people in residential care. She teaches creative writing on a freelance basis and in Adult Education.

Joan is a recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship and her work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies. She has two previous poetry pamphlets - Breathing In (Flarestack, 1997) and About the Time (with Tom Kelly, MidNag, 1998) and three collections: What You Want (Diamond Twig, 1998), Orange for the Sun (dogeater, 2005), and The Daredevil: Scenes from a Bigamist Marriage and other poems (Red Squirrel Press, 2011).

Widow is taken from her new limited-edition pamphlet An Overtaking (Red Squirrel Press, 2016)

Joan's previous Poems of the Month are Blue Plaque and The Burning Map.

Poem of the Month full list

Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.

Widow © 2016 Joan Johnston: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.