“While the receptionists chat about a Chinese takeaway” by Carly Lightfoot

They sit behind glass to protect themselves           from us
taking our names like stolen money passed beneath the screen
and I’m not even that mad          about it:
I’m scared of us, too, how we pace around
the room mopping our brows with dishcloth hands;
orbiting          this space          like moons
knocked off-kilter seeking home

To be afraid of our scarred arms
and renegade brains clawing for escape,
when survival is to punch above our weight,
is to fear life          from the outside
ensconced in magnolia
looking in on us madly
perishing in technicolour.


Carly Lightfoot works in research data services at the University of East London. She has had poems included in a variety of print and online publications. Say hi on Twitter: @CarlyLightfoot