Julie Stevens – “Not Today”

Not Today

Some days should come with a health warning,
carry you straight back to bed and say
you’re not ready yet

When you step out too soon
you hit a wall and the clock stops ticking.
Days like these have already closed down.

Forget the agenda you’re carrying around
the quiet mood you’ve balanced on your head,
it will start to wobble, find the full bin

and before long you’re carrying washing
dropping sandcastles on the floor,
arms and legs in a tangled mess.

The soggy list, a bird’s nest in your pocket,
the specks of claret rain splattering a white top,
your day is running now.

Close the door and turn off the alarm,
freeze the night sky and drain the light,
tomorrow is asking for you.


Julie Stevens writes poems that cover many themes, but often engages with the problems of disability. Her poems have recently been published in Fly on the Wall Press, Ink Sweat & Tears, Dear Reader and Café Writers. Her winning Stickleback pamphlet, Balancing Act, was published by Hedgehog Poetry Press (June 2021) and her chapbook, Quicksand, by Dreich (Sept 2020). Website: http://www.jumpingjulespoetry.com/. Twitter: @julesjumping

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