Rachel McGladdery – three poems

some days

some days it was glade and mr sheen and the floor would be misted with freshener she’d sashay in her tight jeans twanging hips with the radio on in the kitchen and a fag in one hand smiling

some days it was Buddy Holly on repeat and a hill of bed and she’d just fall and rise with sweat and sour

some days it was washing sadly on the backs of chairs and rain condensing on the fingered windows, gas fire smuggling heat while the grand prix whined

and some days it was leave the pots and maggot cat food and we’ll go out it’s only money dazzling me blind

with other days all piled and threatening to fall in dumped up heaps with all sharp edges curtains to so the neighbours couldn’t see

Mrs. Pill

…liked mine more
I’d never seen one outside of the Grattan
the pram set high above the navy sheen
and shoved my head straight in to sniff the plastic novelty of Baby Born and Silvercross
she bounced it smartly, made me jump – chrome singing in the light of boxing day
with a shout from her mum to not go through puddles
(said with a curving smile)
those white walled wheels, the rattle of the tray
I found my own old pushchair corpse
mottled up with rust pulled from its nest of sleeping thorns
set it up with two brown boxes that the ladies brought from Church
emptied now of tins and Fussell’s milk
in rough approximation of a base and hood
and nestled my doll on a folded towel so she’d sit up nice
her moulded hands in unreal pink grasping the cardboard

Magic Colouring Book, 1974

the cricket’s on, a low murmur
sweating men in white
and nan and granddad rest their eyes
here it rains,
the skylight’s tropical
with little drums
cold grey on colder grey
she’s tip tongue concentration
with her water pot and splayed out brush
numb bum on carpet, squares of neon brown on
brown, itch shifting
sets the water to a totter then
a flood of colour eating up the page.

Rachel McGladdery is a poet living and working in rural Lancashire. She was the winner of the inaugural Liverpool Lennon International Poetry Prize. She has been published in several anthologies and journals, most recently in the anthology Parenting (Mother’s Milk, 2014). Rachel was a member of Jo Bell’s highly popular ’52’ poetry group.


2 thoughts on “Rachel McGladdery – three poems

  1. ioma August 11, 2015 / 8:27 pm

    Great Poems ,Thanks


  2. merlin1941 August 12, 2015 / 8:23 pm

    I liked all three of these, maybe ‘some days’ best of all: that fine and touching portrait, the detail, the full use of that prose-poem form.


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