Patterns by Steve May

This week we feature a poignant poem by Steve, about the changes wrought on everyday life by bereavement. image2

Steve May worked extensively in the field of drama-in-education, including winning an Edinburgh Fringe First with Wigan Young People’s Theatre, before becoming an acupuncturist. He regularly performs his work around the NE of England and further afield. He has had work published in The Writers’ Café, The Wellington Street Review, Prole, Gentian and the anthology Mixed Emotions. He won the 2019 Shelter Poems for Home Competition, judged by John Hegley and was runner-up and also commended in the Prole 2019 Poetry Competition. He is a Poetry Society (UK) member.


When my dad died, she was never the same.
The little things seemed hollow now.
The sound of one spoon scraping
the morning bowl, scratchy, flat and empty.
No one to cook for now; she didn’t count.
Sometimes you’d catch her
staring out of the window,
transfixed, motionless,
as if she was not in the room.
She wasn’t.

She took up knitting again, painfully.
Perhaps she’d lost the knack or perhaps
she just couldn’t put her mind to it;
but it was months and months on end,
before that fair isle jumper of mine finally appeared.
I suppose it was a complicated pattern to follow,
after all those years, but I thought the challenge
might take her mind off things.
After that, those twitchy fingers
and blasted needles would battle no more.

They’d been inseparable all those years;
their life patterned with little time-tested rituals,
finely balanced one on another.
So when the base collapsed, the pieces
crashed into painful fragments of memory:
the cosy local, occasional bites to eat
in country pubs, Little Chefs, Berni Inns,
fish & chips for fortnightly Friday treats;
garden tended, lightbulbs changed,
the constant cough, the shuffling feet,
the snoring, sighs; the sound of two
spoons chiming on corn-flake-filled bowls.

5 thoughts on “Patterns by Steve May

  1. Hello

    Great to see my poem up and running today.

    Just a couple of points, that hopefully can still be corrected:

    1/ A typo… 5th line from the end should read ‘fish and chips’ 2/ No stanza breaks. I noticed Chris Stewart’s 2 poems last week had none either. So I don’t know if you’d be able to correct this. If so I can send the stanza’d version if you needing.

    Thanks, Steve May

    Sent from my iPad



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s