November 9th, 2016


by Rosa Campbell

one of the main problems
is that I am tired
because I survived
the night & walked back
to bed through empty
colourless streets &
the oblivious dawn-song
of birds who haven’t heard
the news
someone should tell them
it’s no longer appropriate
someone should inform
the leaves
that they may not crunch
cheerfully any more
don’t they realise
they are being trodden on?
my boots are too tight
& one of the main problems
is that some unholy matrimony
between Solo cup bubbles
& pizza dough is going on
in my gut, all salt & panic
one of the main problems
is that my key won’t turn
in the lock & I’m desperate
for the toilet
& anyway my knuckles
are too exposed
without the keys laced
between them
because I’m sure that guy
walking his dog is harmless
but who knows, & frankly
one of the main problems
is that we’re exhausted
from all the living
we’ve had to do
tonight & every night
& four years is a really long time
to survive
& some of us might not
one of the main problems
is that nobody
has told the fucking birds

‘November 9th, 2016’ has been shortlisted for the 2016 Berfrois Poetry Prize.

About the Author:

Rosa Campbell is a PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews and the Associate Editor at Valley Press, although in reality she spends most of her time pointing out nice dogs. Her poetry has previously been published in Haverthorn, Icarus, JoLT, The Oxonian Review, Dead King Magazine, and Queen Mob’s Tea House, and was longlisted in the 2015 Plough Prize. She is currently slouching towards a first collection, and can be found on Twitter as @rosaetc.