Becky Cullen


Becky Cullen‘s poems have been published widely in magazines and journals including The North, The Interpreter’s House, New Walk and PN Review. In 2016 Becky was Poet-in-Residence at Newstead Abbey, ancestral home of the George Gordon, Lord Byron. ‘Opening’ was inspired by items in the costume collection at Newstead.


Opening

PN Review, 234 (March 2017); longlisted for The Bridport Prize 2016

My shoes come sleeping in a box.
I hear them breathe inside the tissue paper book,
the sound of rippling leaves.

The sole is thick alright, like a slab of black tripe;
the toes are tapered and stopped inside,
adding another inch – at least – in length.

Who knows I spade my feet? Kick trees
until the bark flakes, then blame the deer?
Who knows I use my shoes to root?

These are wild shoes
with points like noses, keen like foxes,
the leather creased like ears.