John Saunders


(For Nalini )

She washes the rag so that it can be used again,
tidies her hair in the stippled glass of shame,
makes good her small place of work and life.
She screams a million screams, cannot believe
the unbelievable, imagines her grandmother’s
spirit is looking down on her, urging her
to be strong, that luck comes to the good.

She hides her scarred face as they enter,
smiles as they leave, wishes them a worthy life.
On a good day she has enough to eat and drink,
is able to pay the dark haired hot money men,
can ignore the groaning pain, shun salted weeping.
She knows that tears are only the indulgence
of those who haven’t suffered enough.




John Saunders’ first collection After the Accident was published in 2010 by Lapwing Press, Belfast. His poems have appeared in Revival, The Moth Magazine, Crannog, Prairie Schooner Literary Journal (Nebraska), Sharp Review, The Stony Thursday Book, Boyne Berries, Riposte, The Smoking Poet, Minus Nine Squared, The First Cut and Weary Blues.  John is one of three poets featured in a new collection entitled Measuring published by Dedalus Press in May.