In selecting this short prose-poem by Sara Hirsch, our guest editor Clive Birnie says “another editor once said to me that it can be the smallest detail in a poem that makes it stand out. Here, that detail is ‘a little plastic voice’.”
The first time we visit it is vacant except for a toilet roll (thoughtful) and a tiny doll left behind in the wardrobe of the smallest bedroom. We discover her together, gathered in the room Daniel will eventually choose. We notice her simultaneously, shock of plastic person somewhere advertised empty. She becomes mascot then is instantly forgotten.
Walls get painted, carpets get laid, then trodden, cupboards get filled, sofas get sat on, then sunk into, father gets ill, family gets frayed and then shrunken, carpets get re laid, plans get re made, boxes get packed, vans get loaded, curtains get drawn, corners get checked and what did we leave behind? A toilet roll in case of visits. That word: Dad.
Our own little dent where we bumped our memories on the way out. A forwarding address. A little plastic voice in Daniel’s wardrobe, thanking us for stopping by.
Sara Hirsch is a London-grown poet and spoken word educator, currently on loan to New
Zealand. She is a multiple slam winner, came third in the world slam championships and has performed at Glastonbury and on the BBC. Her debut poetry collection Still Falling was published in 2016 with Burning Eye Books and she recently released her second collection Louder Than Words (for younger readers) with their imprint, BX3.
Sara has been published in both Hemispheres, including The Shanghai Literary Review, Red Flag and Salient Magazine, in anthologies from The Emma Press, Groundation and Burning Eye and in the EAL Academic Journal. She is a TEDx speaker, recently graduated with a master’s degree in Creative Writing and Education from Goldsmiths University is currently co-founding ‘Motif Poetry’ with Ben Fagan, spending too much time on long haul flights and attempting to dismantle the patriarchy, one poem at a time.