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

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.

Recordings

Michael Laskey Reading from His Poems

1Cucumber

2Nowadays

3Family Planning

4Registers

5Living with the Doctor

6On My Own

7Between Two Lit Rooms

8The Clothes-peg

9Rain

10The Flat-warming

11Nobody

12Offering

13Not Before Time

14Fried Potatoes

15Picking Raspberries with My Mother

16Ratatouille

17Breakfast

18Service

19Laying the Fire

20Driving Home

21The Day After

22Afterlife

23Life After Death

24Home Movies

25Permission to Breathe

26The Tightrope Wedding

27Concert

28The Page Turner

29The Right Place

30Not That He Wrote Poems

31Tinkling Cymbal

32The Man Alone

33The Corpse

34The Last Swim