Irene Watson

Held in Waiting

Be here. Come out of sleep, beyond holly trees where rabbit yearlings strain to reach lithe shoots; where snowfall troupes hang within tight-lipped vines, where casements frost-hold in astragals. Come here. That bloke next door is cleaving: chopping, dissecting, stacking fires; his house must be warm-baked, thawed. Books I intend to read are left in weighted jackets, reminders of people I haven’t read, friends I forgot to call; in lists of sub-lists: unachieved tasks. Left cold. Mask I am here, waiting, whilst you speak to Singapore, whilst you listen to football scores. Fortune favors the ones who ask for more fortune—less certain of myself; kindling drying in the basket, Mick Jagger plays on, dogs lounge on couched blankets noticing, I am not sure anymore. Be within reach.

Irene Watson is a mid-career artist, poet, and art teacher, based in rural Perthshire. She uses text and poetry within her artwork, which has been exhibited in the UK, America, and New Zealand, as well as in pop-up community spaces in Scotland. Watson has edited poetry anthologies written with adults with disabilities and has co-written two touring plays. Her poems are published or forthcoming in Poet’s Republic, Dreich Summer Anthology, Gone LawnThe Dillydoun ReviewWords for the WildCateran Eco MuseumPendemicFriday Flash Fiction, Poetry Space’s Locked Down anthology, Dreich#8 and Whales of Arcadia. She is currently compiling her first poetry pamphlet.