Poetry Jukebox Request Time – Anita Gracey

Poetry Jukebox puts poetry into public space. This jukebox is at the Crescent Arts Centre Belfast. This poem Hand Me Down by Anita Gracey was part of our Song Of Myself curation of poems at CS Lewis Square. The poems launched the only jukebox in the world which includes features to make it more accessible to disabled people.

Hand-Me-Down by Anita Gracey, read by Peter Gracey

You are a ploughed dark field,

overturned soil swaddles

your heart as treasure,

Clontibret’s tapped seam1

you pinned my paintings up,

each one a Gerard Dillon

your kisses a first-aid box,

arguments sticking plaster

smiles as stretch-marks,

elastic purrs

you had Willow pattern teacups,

on birthdays we raised our pinky’s

your laugh a grandstand,

one-liners own goals

freckles as rosary beads,

always to be counted on

arms comfort blankets,

carries my worries

you said, when asleep you sigh

my snore is Herculean

your voice as I waken,

a brass band of blessings


when you died, grief was the sea,

a hurricane I was treading

a boat was your face,

the drogue2 I let go

bequeathed in burnished thoughts,

in time, I’m a sunbeam.

1A huge untapped seam of gold has been discovered near Clontibret in County Monaghan.

The seam, found in 2008, is believed to be the biggest ever located in Ireland.

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