I. James: ‘A heart like yours’

A heart like yours, I wonder,
             will it ever – just suddenly - stop beating?
I cower to the shared fear
of what is to, or may, be…
I cover the rotting-dead thought of you with the black backs of my lids
and my eyes cry, and my shoulders sigh you off of me quick.
How young a heart, my sister,
my funny friend. You irregular,
intangible, ebullient, reckless, effervescent,
live-for-the-moment singular
soul in pain at present; forfeiting the Future’s power over
your body;                                                                your mind
neglects the humour in standing
in just a thin, cotton, hospice pinny, exposing
bare arse,
and the irony in getting caught in traffic on Westminster Bridge
strapped down in an ambulance, waiting for half of London to clear,
and you hear your nonchalance utter: “It’s fine, honestly”.

An attack shadowed by countless worries voiced
from your limbs, lungs, liver – Sister! Stories you’ve heard
online, assumptions you’ve made, and exhausted by diagnostic deliberation
of your body’s symptoms categorised into sections –
you tire: you scare yourself silly.


I. James



Isabelle is a 24-year-old PGCE English student at the University of Cambridge. Her Poetry has been shortlisted for the South Yorkshire Young Writers’ Competition 2018.

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