Fingers by Stephen Byrne

Today I noticed something

for the first time,

that the world is old

and slipping

from the cup of your hand.

See, I noticed

as you slept

you have lost all

the petals of your flower,

your head drooped

tipping your shoulder,

a soft light kissed your cheek.


It was your fingers that gave it away,

long and thin

like pieces of bog oak



as if you were dreaming,

dancing I’m sure

around our kitchen

cradling the sweeping brush,

and I as a child

part of your leg,

dancing too.


Perhaps when you wake

we can become two shadows

flickering in the light around the room,

and the night can split

shards of crystal upon the floor

for us to sweep with our feet,

but for now,

the thin stalks of yellow fingers

stay closed

like a sleeping flower

and I watch

and watch you dream


dancing with your child in arms,

your fingers brushing my cheek.

Stephen Byrne is a chef and writer in Galway. His work has been published in Skylight 47, Ropes 2015, The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology, The Blue Hour, The Galway Review, Boyne Berries, RædLeafPoetry-India, The Poetry Bus and many others. His work has also been translated into Russian for the Nasha Gazeta newspaper, Dublin edition. He writes at his site The Ranting Beast 

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