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When all you have is questions…make a poem of them.

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How many spiders are there in this house?

And do they really all need second webs?

How many times have I looked at these windows and thought,

they could do with a clean, then returned to

eating, reading, drinking, tweeting, watching, eating?

How many cakes, cookies, sourdough breads does it take,

to grow a person too big to leave the house, even if

they wanted to?

How many rainbows have been stuck on windows?

And does that mean the people inside are always in

a colourfully uninterrupted state of sun and rain?


How many Thursday nights would it take to make

our gratitude loud enough to be heard in heaven,

or whatever name you give to that place or state

where the ones who’ve already left are now?

How many samey days will it take to make me forget

days used to have names, Monday, Tuesday…next day?

How do you make friends with being scared?


How long before I can harvest those radishes I planted?

How do you mend something that’s never been this broken before

and can’t be delivered in battered, broken, much loved pieces

to the experts at the BBCs Repair Shop, so they can make it right

on a Wednesday night while mum and I watch from the sofa?

How can we make sure, so totally absolutely, guarantee nobody

falls through the gaps as the world cracks along

fault lines we knew were there but chose to step over,

walk around, stuff with psychological sociological polyfilla?


How many people allowed in the shop at any one time?

How much salt in those crisps, those tears, the sea and where

did it all come from? And how many minutes of tears to fill

a 330ml can and is that how you drink the pain away?


How do you grieve numbers, or manage the agony when you dare

to give each one a name, and a family and an unrealised dream

or two or three?

How many times did you, I, he, she, they

the postman,  the rubbish collector, the funeral parlour worker,

the doctor, the nurse, the hospital cleaner, the residential home carer

the one who stacked the shelves, the one who cooked your supper

wash their hands? And when you add all those twenty seconds together

and launch that number into the sky on a prayer would it find

enough stars to know itself?


How many zooms before you start zoning out?

How many friends does it take to make not ok, ok?

Why is this happening?

How many?

How much?

How long?