We cannot bear to see it. There are no words to shape it, no tide to smooth the pebbles of the night and drag them out to sea, no lilies to wreathe it, no scraps of moon to swab the throbbing vein of blues and twos. There is no colour to paint it on stained-glass windows bright as playing cards. There is no gulp to grieve it, no memory to marble it, to tap you on the shoulder, show you photographs, Here this and Here, no last balloon-drop to stop them leaving when they did or lift them clear, like the boy in Disney’s ‘Up’, stranded on the porch when the house took off.
Isabel Palmer is a freelance writer, a former English teacher and the new co-editor of Flarestack Poets. Her debut pamphlet, Ground Signs (Flarestack Poets, 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice. Her first full-length collection, Atmospherics, with a foreword by Sir Andrew Motion, was published by Bloodaxe Books in a four-poet book entitled Home Front, which was launched at Dulwich Literary Festival on Remembrance Sunday, 2016.