Size / / /

In amongst her mother’s linen
was a single grey pillowslip
made from sleet;
it lay folded
into quarters, and was totally bound.

She shook it out with a snap,
but it held together;
a square shower
of icy rain, going nowhere
and coming only from itself.

She placed a pillow inside it
and immediately
it became
a sodden weight.

When she laid her head upon it
her mind was as full
and as emptying
as the endless skies

Publication of this poem was made possible by a donation from Sylvia Spruck Wrigley. (Thanks, Sylvia!) To find out more about our funding model, or donate to the magazine, see the Support Us page.



John W. Sexton lives in Ireland and is the author of five previous poetry collections, the most recent being The Offspring of the Moon (Salmon, 2013). His sixth collection, Futures Pass, is due from Salmon in 2015. In 2007 he was awarded a Patrick and Katherine Kavanagh Fellowship in Poetry.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
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