Poem introduction

This is a poem, I think, about the end of a stage of looking after children when they've grown up and gone away. It's called 'Nobody'.

Nobody

If you can't bring yourself to build
a snowman or even to clench
a snowball or two to fling
at the pine tree trunk, at least
find some reason to take you out

of yourself: scrape a patch of grass clear
for the birds maybe; prod at your shrubs
so they shake off the weight, straighten up;
or just stump about leaving prints
of your boots, your breath steaming out.

Promise. Don't let yourself in
for this moment again: the end
of the afternoon, drawing the curtains
on the glare of the garden, a whole
day of snow nobody's trodden.


from The Man Alone: New and Selected Poems (Smith Doorstop, 2008), first published in Permission to Breathe (Smith Doorstop, 2001), © Michael Laskey 2001, used by permission of the author and The Poetry Business.

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1Cucumber

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2Nowadays

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3Family Planning

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4Registers

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5Living with the Doctor

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6On My Own

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7Between Two Lit Rooms

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8The Clothes-peg

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9Rain

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10The Flat-warming

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11Nobody

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12Offering

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13Not Before Time

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14Fried Potatoes

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15Picking Raspberries with My Mother

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18Service

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19Laying the Fire

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20Driving Home

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21The Day After

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22Afterlife

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23Life After Death

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24Home Movies

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25Permission to Breathe

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26The Tightrope Wedding

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30Not That He Wrote Poems

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31Tinkling Cymbal

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32The Man Alone

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33The Corpse

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34The Last Swim

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Books by Michael Laskey