LOSING MY GRIP by clare e. potter

clare e. potter reading ‘Losing My Grip’


LOSING MY GRIP by clare e. potter 



Lately I’ve let my hands go weak, I’m not responding

to emails or writing journal entries or finger drying

my hair. My wrist quivers when I drain potatoes,

the ring from New Orleans loosening. I’m afraid

I’ll lose it down the sink.



She holds my hand as we walk through the woods to school

chinnering on about something and her hand wants

to gesticulate but I feel the gesture stop in mine.

I wave goodbye at the green light, she’s running,

boxer plaits swinging like windscreen wipers across her back.


On the way home, I go deep in the woods, touch my hand

on a palm of lichen, foot a slippery root;

I grab a holly twig as I slide down the banking

when I’m trying to go up the banking, and there by the river

six black and yellow wing feathers,

I carry them home in a nest of fingers

prop those feathers in the hagstone hole empty on my desk,

now we both can get back to flying,

writing, conducting the sky with our feelings.


Poet clare e. potter directed BBC Wales documentary The Wall and the Mirror, translated for Wales’ National and was a Hay Festival Writer at Work. She facilitates community projects in collaboration with other artists and is researching the creative process for a second collection thanks to a Literature Wales bursary.

24 February 2021