Millicent Stott’s Lockdown Poetry
Millicent Stott (@millicenteve_) is a first year English Literature student at Durham University. Her poems ‘A Year Since’, ‘Fairy’, ‘The Moon and the Biopsy’, & ‘Another Time’, were all written during the current U.K. lockdown and reflect on a variety of personal themes.
MS: “I wrote all of these poems during the current UK lockdown, where I have had plenty of time (too much possibly) to reflect on the part of my life which has ended now I have started university. The pieces reflect varying feelings around past and present relationships, hope, and the bittersweetness of leaving your past behind. My favourite recent piece is ‘The Moon and the Biopsy’, which was a cathartic release for me! It focuses on a serious health scare I had last year, and the idea that I have never been able to explain my feelings about that time to anyone because I didn’t think I reacted conventionally. I used the poem as a way to explore the lingering fears and distress this experience caused me as I find it hard to express out loud. Writing poems has been such an important coping mechanism for me this year – I love that there is no judgement in poetry, and I hope some of my words can relate to other people!”
We’d like to say a big thank you to Millicent for sharing her beautiful poems with us to kick off this month’s theme of ‘Hope’.
A Year Since
Another day without life and I touch lips, lashes tender against the cold glass as though pressing them against a lover, one I cannot reach across the smoke the seagull mews in the breeze fresh flowers, I hear her soft breath down the phone my whisper, might it all be okay? Then wait as though for a response from the suburban wilderness. I am waiting. And answer me, mightn’t it?
I like the way her hair curls around my tongue and the earth sweet scent of her sweat on my lips I like the way she never sleeps and her laugh is airy graceful balm to rub into my temples I like her stretch marks purple as fresh plums on her thighs which dip and dive and devour trembling mid-air like dangerous, sleeping swans she is a herb garden of memory rich rosemary and parsley growing but smelling of mint after her shower
The Moon and the Biopsy
Excuse me, are you the right person to talk to about this? I guess I just wanted to tell someone that I still play the song I listened to, way back when in the hospital, remember? They juiced me for all I was worth and at night I lay depleted of flesh, oily, sanguine and I looked over at the clean ward opposite, with the soft cheese moon guarding sleepy pills, needles, vials of my dirty blood creeping their way towards… Towards? No, away, keep it away. Anyway, the song – when I played it I would lift up my arms to the moon I was 40 degrees, bruised, defiant and this was my arrogance, my jelly and ice-cream as I watched Doctor Who alone and turned it off when the angels scared me. But I was not afraid, not even of it. Not even when the doctor held my hand and everyone cried and the walls caved in. I just wanted to tell someone that.
In another life we were the married couple on the lawn with the black Labrador late 50’s and the sun is glistening like a golden torch scorching the bonnet of our car I sit on the bench where you dropped me off this afternoon watching the people go by with eyes like yours and think that you could have eased my pain, some other place at the end of us there will be no museums no monasteries desecrated just the coastline left sacred with your touch